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Firm tasks company to abide by arbitral award against it

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Director General (DG) PETROCI, Dr. Ibrahim Diaby (left); Head Legal, Yannick Bery and the COO/Head of Administration, Inza Dosso.

The Societe Nationale Petroliere de Cote D’Ivoire (PETROCI), the national oil company of the francophone nation, has charged MRS Oil Nigeria Plc to abide by the terms of the arbitral awards in its favour.

The Director-General of PETROCI, Dr. Ibrahima Diaby, said PETROCI, which is the equivalent of Nigeria’s Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and MRS, are in a dispute over the release of a final award/decision of an Arbitral Tribunal delivered on March 24, 2021 and June 21, 2021 respectively.

Diaby said: “MRS should abide by the terms in the arbitral award, to which they already acknowledged and even demanded the account number of PETROCI to pay the money into.”

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According to Diaby, his firm was also allegedly prevented from physically participating in MRS Oil Nigeria Plc’s 52nd yearly general meeting, which was held last Tuesday in Lagos.

Diaby said security officials at the Civic Centre on Victoria Island, venue of the event, denied him and other representatives of the firm access, presumably on the orders of MRS.

The DG, who decried the alleged exclusion from the meeting, as well as in the management of MRS Oil, “when both parties have equal stake of 60 per cent shareholding in the company”, said he would file a complaint against the company to Nigerian authorities.

“We are writing to the Federal Government of Nigeria and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to help look into this unfortunate incident of our being locked out of the AGM. MRS is discouraging genuine investors who earnestly desire to explore investment opportunities in Nigeria,” he lamented.

But MRS had explained in its notice of the AGM that it would be held in strict compliance with government directive on COVID-19 and related guidelines, meaning that physical participation would be limited.

MRS Company Secretary, Mrs O.M. Jafojo, stated in the notice on its website that shareholders and other stakeholders, who are not able to physically participate would have the alternative of joining online.

She stated that the AGM was streamed live via the company’s website and on Youtube, so that those, who could not participate physically could partake virtually, considering the need to comply with government’s directive in respect of the COVID-19 protocols.

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