Court bars NNPC, petroleum ministry from allocating crude to oil firm
A Federal High Court in Lagos has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ministry of Petroleum Resources and National Petroleum Investment & Management Respondent Services (NAPIMS) from allocating crude oil to Addax Oil Exploration Plc.
Justice Tijjani Ringim held that the firm should not be allocated crude oil explored from OMLS 123, 124, 126 and 137 as stipulated in the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) of 1998 between the Addax and NNPC.
The Federal Government and the Attorney-General of the Federation are the plaintiffs in the suit, while Addax Petroleum Development of (Nigeria) Limited and Addax Petroleum Exploration (Nigeria) Limited are the first and second defendants/respondents.
The NNPC, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and NAPIMS are the third to fifth respondents respectively.
The judge made the order following a motion for Mareva Injunction filed and argued by the counsel to Federal Government, Romeo Ese Michael of D.A Awosika (SAN) and Co.
The judge agreed with the government that it would serve the interest of justice to preserve the rest owing to the government’s claim that Addax Petroleum is taking steps to liquidate some of its subsidiaries in Nigeria.
“It will serve the interest of justice if this application is granted because the applicant has established that there is fear of dissipating the res before the hearing and determination of the substantive suit
“I find that this application is meritorious and same ought to be granted. Accordingly, it is hereby granted as prayed,” the judge held.
The judge, however, ordered the government to swear to an affidavit that it would indemnify the defendants in the event that it misled the court to grant the injunction.
The judge had earlier dismissed the defendants’ notice of preliminary objection filed through their counsel I.O Olateru-Olagbegi.
He held that the suit was properly filed and should be allowed to be heard at trial and adjourned till March 21, 2022 for mention.