Tue. Feb 7th, 2023

Non-disclosure Of Lifted Crude Oil: Firms Accused Of Disobeying Court Orders

Non-disclosure Of Lifted Crude Oil: Firms Accused Of Disobeying Court Orders

An energy firm, Eurafric Energy Limited, has accused three oil and gas companies, of being in contempt of order of a Lagos Federal High Court.

The three companies cited for contempt by the plaintiff are: Petralon 54 Limited; Petralon Energy Limited and Tako E & P Solutions Limited.

They are accused of being contemptuous, for alleged failure to disclose to the Court on Affidavit of Facts within seven (7) days, the total quantity of Crude Sold from the Dawes Island Marginal field, the amount for which it was sold, the Royalty paid to the Government, the balance left as well as the Joint account it was deposited, as ordered by Justice Daniel Osiagor.

Justice Osiagor had on October 14, while discharging and setting aside Post No debt (PND) place on the three companies bank accounts, ordered them to file an Affidavit of Facts within seven (7) days, showing the total quantity of Crude Sold from the Dawes Island Marginal field, the amount for which it was sold, the Royalty paid to the Government, the balance left as well as the Joint account it was deposited.

But till today, the three companies are yet to obey the order of the court.

The three firms, Petralon 54 Limited; Petralon Energy Limited, were dragged before the court by Eurafric Energy Limited, through its counsel, George Duru, in a suit numbered FHC/L/CS/1686/22, for alleged Non-disclosure of lifted crude oil and amount the crude oil was sold.

The plaintiff in an Exparte motion, had asked the court to direct 19 commercial banks in Nigeria, to freeze and place a Post No Debt (PND) on any sum of money, standing to the credit accounts belonging to three oil and gas companies, Petralon 54 Limited; Petralon Energy Limited and Tako E&P Solutions Limited, for their alleged failure to declare total quantity of crude sold, the amount it was sold and the royalty paid to government.

It also asked the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the three firms from tampering with, withdrawing or dissipating the proceeds of the sale of the crude oil produced by the joint venture partners, plaintiff, Petralon Energy Limited and Tako E&P Solutions Limited, who are second and fourth defendants, in the exploration operation at Dawes Island pursuant to the Oil Mining Licence awarded to the plaintiff by Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, the third defendant’s predecessor in title.

The plaintiff’s requests were granted by the court.

But discomforted with the orders, the three firms through their lawyer, M. O. Liadi, urged the court to discharge and set aside the order, for suppression of material facts.

The firms lawyer also asked the court to strike out or dismiss the suit in it’s entirety.

He also asked the court to strike out the name of the second respondent, Petralon Energy Limited, from the suit.

But plaintiff’s lawyer, in his response, told the court that his client did not suppress any material facts as claimed by the respondents.

He urged the court to extend the Exparte orders, and dismissed the respondents’ application.

Justice Osiagor upon taken arguments from parties, made the following orders: “that an order is granted setting aside and/or discharging in its entirety the exparte orders of interim injunction granted by this Honourable Court on 16th September, 2022 in this Suit pursuant to the Plaintiff’s Ex-parte Motion dated 5th September, 2022 but filed on 6th September, 2022.

“That Order 2 is Struck Out.

“That Order 3 is Struck Out.

“That All the defendants or their agents, directors, or representative and any person acting for or in trust for them to disclose to the Court on Affidavit of Facts within 7 days, the total quantity of Crude Sold from the Dawes Island Marginal field, the amount for which it was sold, the Royalty paid to the Government, the balance left as well as the Joint account it was deposited.”

Counsel to the plaintiff, Duru, said since the court made the order on October 14, the respondents are yet to obey the order by filing an affidavit of Facts, to reflect the total quantity of Crude Sold from the Dawes Island Marginal field, the amount for which it was sold, the Royalty paid to the Government, the balance left as well as the Joint account it was deposited.

Meanwhile, further hearing of the matter has been adjourned to January 19, 2023.