Court adjourns firms’ suit against FG on disputed oilfields

The Federal High Court in Lagos has further adjourned hearing till June 26 in a suit filed by 10 oil firms, seeking to bar the Federal Government from transferring the oilfields awarded to them.

Justice C.J. Aneke adjourned the suit on Monday after the plaintiffs’ counsel, Mr Uche Nwokedi (SAN), said he needed time to respond to the applications filed by the defendants in the suit.

The defendants in the suit are the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Director of Petroleum Resources in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Auwalu Sarki.

The plaintiffs are Associated Oil and Gas Limited; Dansaki Petroleum Unlimited; Bayelsa Oil Company Limited; Bicta Energy and Management Systems Limited;  Del-Sigma Petroleum Nigeria Limited; Goland Petroleum Limited; Independent Energy Limited; Sahara Energy Limited; African Oil and Gas Limited; and Sogenal Limited.

They had on June 3 secured an interim order, barring the Federal Government from transferring the oil fields awarded to them.

The court barred the defendants from giving effect to an April 6, 2020 letter written to the 10 oil firms.

Justice Aneke ordered the defendants not to take “any further step pursuant to the respondents’ letter dated 6th April to award, transfer, alienate, assign, sell or howsoever called to any other person, the Marginal Field(s), which were awarded to the applicants, in whole or any part thereof, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

The court said the respondents must not “invite, write, advertise to, publish to, announce to” anyone a bidding process for the contentious oil fields, pending the determination of the suit by the oil firms.

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