The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Duport Midstream Company Limited, Dr Akintoye Akindele, has categorically debunked the fraud claims against him following a business dispute with the family of the late MKO Abiola.

In a video he released on Tuesday, the businessman said his business rivals are trying to weave unfound fraud allegations around him through cronies, describing all fraud allegations against him as untrue.

He said, “It’s about a business dispute with my former partners and a notable family in Nigeria, the Abiola family, which the police are already investigating, and they will get to the bottom of it eventually.

“I believe in the rule of law, which is why I have not said anything. People that are discerning, when they hear fake news, they will know it.”

Meanwhile, a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama has granted N500m bail to Akindele, whom his detractors falsely accused of offering a N50m bribe to men of the Nigeria Police Force.

The businessman was immediately released after he met his bail conditions.

One of Akindele’s legal team, Pelumi Olajengbesi, of Law Corridor, in a statement, also gave an insight into the matter. He said, “For us, the matter is essentially a civil dispute but in Nigeria, some influential people prefer to criminalise civil issues believing that they can use the instrumentality of the Nigeria Police to achieve their motives speedily. Of course, the police will do their job, but the law will run its course.

“This matter is just about a Claim for Shortfall in Supply of Condensate issued on the 3rd September 2021 by Duport Midstream Company Limited, Dr Akindele Akintoye’s Company, for the sum of $9,806,309.77 (Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Six Thousand, Three Hundred and Nine Dollars, Seventy-Seven Cents) against the Abiola’s family for failure in supply of crude to the company.

“Further to the above, the parties met severally and reconciled the outstanding amounts owed by both sides with the Abiola family owing Duport Midstream Company Limited, Our Client, the sum of $9,806,309.77 (Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Six Thousand, Three Hundred and Nine Dollars, Seventy-Seven Cents) as at August 2021.

“While the Abiola family was also making claims and refused to continue the crude supply, Akindele’s refinery sought alternative crude supply to enable the company to carry out its mandate.

“Dissatisfied with the action, the Abiolas, by a letter dated 2nd June 2023, claimed that Duport Midstream Company Limited is indebted to their company in the sum of $5,732,407.14 (Five Million, Seven Hundred and Thirty Two Thousand, Four Hundred and Seven Dollars, Fourteen Cents ).

“After the demand letter, they sought the intervention of the Police and this necessitated their petition to the Nigeria Police despite being aware of a Suit No. FHC/L/CS/729/2023 on the subject matter in court and having instituted another suit also on the matter.”

This is a simple commercial dispute within the oil and gas industry and parties are bound to respect the decency of business engagement. All other stories are pettiness which we will engage with full measure of law, says Olajengbesi.