Malabu oil sues FG, others over re-allocation of OPL 245 

The last might not have been heard over the Malabu Oil deal as Malabu Oil and Gas on Friday dragged the Federal Government and six others before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja over re-allocation of OPL 245 to the Federal Government.

Joined alongside the Federal Government as defendants are Minster of Petroleum, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd, Nigerian Agip Exploration Company Ltd, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Dan Etete.

The plaintiff through its lawyer, J.A Achimugu in a writ of summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/201/2017 is praying the court for a declaration that its rights and interest in OPL 245 granted or re-allocated to it is still valid and subsisting.

It also wants a declaration‎ that not being a party to the block 245 resolution agreement dated April 29, 2011 is not bound by the terms of the said agreement as it relates to or concerns OPL 245.

In addition the plaintiff is seeking a declaration that not being a party to the block 245 resolution agreement dated April 29, 2011, any payment purportedly made by the defendants into any bank account purporting to be the plaintiff’s bank account and or made to the 9th defendant purportedly in the name of the plaintiff was not payment made in pursuance of the said block 245 resolution agreement.

Also, the plaintiff is seeking a declaration that the allocation of OPL 245 by the 1st and 2nd defendants to the 4th and 5th defendants via the 2nd defendant’s letter on May 11, 2011 titled “Re: OPL 245 Resolution Agreement/Letter of Award” while the plaintiffs rights and the interests to OPL 245 was subsisting is in violation of the plaintiff’s exclusive right under paragraph 5 of the 1st schedule to the Petroleum Act to explore and prospect for petroleum within the area covered by OPL 245 and is therefore invalid, wrongful, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

The plaintiff also wants the court to give a declaration that the grant of OPL 245 by the 2nd defendant to the plaintiff in the exercise of the 2nd defendants powers under Section 2 of the Petroleum Act Cap. P.10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 does not constitute an offence under any penal law in Nigeria and OPL‎ 245 is not the proceeds of any offence or crime under EFCC (Establishment) Act Cap. E1 Laws of the Federation 2004 or any other law in force in Nigeria.

The plaintiff however wants the court to make an order compelling the defendants to restore to it its right to the exclusive possession of OPL 245.

It is also praying the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants and in particular the 6th defendant from treating and or dealing with OPL 245 as a proceed of an offence and from interfering in any manner whatsoever and howsoever with the plaintiff’s exclusive right to explore and prospect for petroleum in the area of OPL 245.

It is also wants an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from carrying out any exploration or prospecting activities in connection with or in relation to the area covered by OPL 245.

The matter has not yet been assigned for hearing.

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