FPSO in Egina Field suit adjourned till March 5
A Federal High Court, Lagos has adjourned till March 12, 2015, to decide which of the pending applications to take first in the suit by a lawyer, Mr. John Owubokiri, challenging the award of the multi-million dollar contract for the controversial storage and offloading unit FPSO in Egina Field within OML 130, to Samsung Heavy Industry Nigeria Limited and Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd.
Defendants in the suit are Attorney General of the Federation; National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NPIMS; Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board, CDMB; Samsung Heavy Industry and Total Upstream.
Trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, had ordered the defendants to “maintain status quo ante bellum as per the plaintiff’s claims before the court pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated 19/11/2014.” But the plaintiff had at the last hearing, complained that work was still on-going on the contract despite the clear court orders.
At the last sitting, counsel in the matter could not agree on which of the pending applications to be taken first, as counsel to the defendants reminded the court of the pendency of their preliminary objection.
But counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Olukayode Enitan, argued that the preliminary objection cannot be heard as it was filed out of time.
He argued that by the provision of Order 25, Rules 4 and 5, any preliminary objection filed out of time would be heard after trial. But counsel to the defendants argued that they were unable to file within time due to the judicial workers strike.
Enitan argued that even if that were to be the case, that they ought to have brought an application to file same out of time, which they failed to do, which was detrimental to the said preliminary objection.
Plaintiff counsel further told the court that an ex-parte application to bring the earlier order of the court, for same to be brought to the attention of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NPIMS; Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board, CDMB; Samsung Heavy Industry and Total Upstream, was ripe for hearing.
But counsel to the defendants argued that the application should be on notice, more so that the plaintiff was yet to initiate committal proceedings against the defendants.
The court, consequently, adjourns to rule on which application to take first.
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