The Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) has vowed to battle the Federal Government over its demand for a share of about $13.65billion in the $62billion which five international oil companies allegedly owe Nigeria following the 2018 Supreme Court’s judgment on Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) between the country and the firms.
The other four IOCs include, Total Exploration & Production Company Limited, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and Chevron Nigeria Limited.
The apex court’s verdict enabled the Federal Government to increase its share of income from the PSCs.
Shell is opposing the demand for a total of $13,651,034,052.59 by the Federal Government on the grounds that it was planning to commence arbitration proceedings in respect of the issue.
The firm, which accused the Federal Government of unilaterally making adjustments in the PSC in respect of the Oil Mining Lease 118 in enforcing the apex court’s verdict, sought a court order stopping the government from taking further action on its demand for the money until its planned arbitration is concluded.
The company filed the suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/154, before the Federal High Court in Abuja, in which it sought an injunction against the government.
The four other IOCs from whom the Federal Government had demanded various sums of money based on the Supreme Court’s verdict filed similar suits at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Parts of the court documents filed by Shell were seen by our correspondent, last Saturday.
The documents indicated that the Federal Government demanded $13,651,034,052.59 from Shell, through a letter dated January 14, 2019, issued on its behalf by Trobell International Nigeria Limited.
Trobell is joined as the second respondent in the Shell’s suit, while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is joined as the first respondent and the Attorney-General of the Federation as the third.
Shell’s suit filed through its lawyer, Ogunmuyiwa Balogun of the Olaniwun Ajayi law firm, is anchored on section 251(1)(r) of the Nigeria Constitution, section 53 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, Article 26(3) of the Arbitration Rules, section 11 and 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act and Order 28 Rule 1 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules.
But Trobell, in its response to the suit, had asked the court to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction.
The firm’s preliminary objection filed through its lawyer, Oladapo Agboola was made available to newsmen, last Saturday.
It argued that the matter could not be “re-litigated” after the Supreme Court had made a pronouncement on it.
It also argued among others that the affidavit filed in support of the suit contained extraneous issues which the court could not rely on.
Army Confirms Killing 16 Terrorists
The troops of Operation Fire Ball have killed 16 Boko Haram/Islamic States for West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in recent encounters in the North East theatre of operation.
The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, made this known in a statement, yesterday.
The statement was titled, ‘Operation Lafiya Dole: Troops of Operation Fire Ball neutralise several bandits, destroy gun trucks, recover large cache of arms and other items’.
Onyeuko said that four terrorists’ gun trucks were destroyed as well as recovery of a large cache of arms and ammunitions during the various encounters.
The statement read in part, “On October 21, 2020, troops of Special Response Area Gajiram deployed at Check Point Three under Sector Three decisively dealt a heavy blow on BHT/ISWAP criminal elements.
“The eagle-eyed troops who were on alert noticed unusual vehicles following the convoy of vehicles conveying Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Maiduguri Cosmopolitan City to Baga town in order to infiltrate own position.
“The troops canalised the criminals and inflicted heavy casualty on them. After the ensuing fire-fight, three Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised.
“In a related development, troops of Army Super Camp, Magumeri, decimated several Boko Haram terrorists who attacked the location. After the fierce encounter, 11 Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised.
“Similarly, On October 24, 2020, the gallant troops of Army Super Camp located at Mallam Fatori routed elements of Boko Haram/ISWAP criminal elements, who attacked their location. After the fierce battle two Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised, others escaped with gunshot wounds as traces of blood of dragged casualties by the criminals were seen during exploitation.”
The defence assured populace of the North-East zone of the determination of the High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria “to finally rout out the remnants of the BHT/ISWAP criminals from their enclaves”.
Wike Tasks RSIEC On Conduct Of LG Credible Polls
The newly reconstituted Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) has been charged to ensure it conducts credible elections in compliance with the Local Government Laws of the state.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, gave this charge shortly after inaugurating the reconstituted leadership of the electoral commission at the Executive Chambers of the Government House in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
The governor, who lauded eight members of the commission for their successful screening by the Rivers State House of Assembly, urged them to take the responsibility of conducting credible elections, from the ward to the local government level, seriously.
Wike explained that the inauguration of the new RSIEC became imperative following the expiration of the tenure of the previous chairman and commissioners in July, this year.
He emphasised that members of the reconstituted RSIEC must take into cognisance the fact that conducting election in the country was a herculean task, amid all kinds of threats and blackmail.
But, irrespective of this fact, he urged members of the commission not to be dispirited in the discharge of their duties.
“It is not an easy job to participate in conducting election, it is quite tasking. It requires every commitment. It is time consuming, it is energy sapping. Sometimes, in three days, you will not get home”, he pointed out.
Wike stressed that members of the commission must detach themselves from social organisations, particularly those with mixed multitude in order to avoid being accused of partisanship as all eyes would now be on them.
He disclosed that he was aware that some persons were already plotting to thwart the successful conduct of local government election in the state.
To this end, he charged the commission not to be deterred, but make sure it adheres to the provisions of the law.
“So many traps will be set for you so that election will not hold. Like I hear people are plotting that the election will not hold. That is not a problem. You do your own work.”
The governor declared that he does not have any vested interest in the election, and insisted that those who want to contest in the election must showcase themselves, and tell their people why they want to run for office and be voted for.
“Elections must be conducted as soon as possible in compliance with provisions of the Local Government Law as amended”, he added.
Wike said he would not hesitate to drop any member of the commission, if he receives petition with proof that any of them was a card carrying member of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
“I don’t know any of you who has a PDP membership card. If I do know, I will not have appointed you”, he added.
Responding, the chairman of the commission, Justice George Omereji (rtd), lauded the governor for finding them worthy to be saddled with the responsibility to oversee the conduct of the next local government election, and promised not to disappoint the people of the state.
Shiites Dismiss Rumours Of El-Zakzaky’s Dealth
As the rumoured death of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shi’ites, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky went wild across the country, yesterday, the group has dismissed the speculation as the handiwork of mischief makers.
The Spokesman of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, who dispelled the rumours in a statement made available to journalists, in Abuja, yesterday, said that the, “originators of the rumour and its circulation are government-sponsored mischief makers trying to plunge the nation into further chaos.
“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has found it necessary to dispel the rumour currently making waves of the passing away of our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky. We believe the originators of the rumour and its circulation are government-sponsored mischief makers trying to plunge the nation into further chaos.
“Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky was visited by his family members on Saturday, 24/10/2020, in the Kaduna Correctional Centre where he is being held on trumped up charges by the Kaduna State Government led by Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i.
“While the Sheikh, indeed, suffers from potentially life-threatening health challenges due to injuries to his vital organs, and the subsequent prolonged incarceration without adequate care, none of that is new.
“Clearly, this rumour is emanating from the government and its agents, intent on dragging and soiling the name of the Islamic Movement into their self-inflicted chaotic situation in the country currently, thereby causing further mayhem and unrest as a diversionary tactic”.
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