A Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos has granted a temporary Mareva injunction directing commercial banks to block Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited accounts.
The court ruled in a bid to recover the cash value of more than 16 million barrels of crude oil allegedly diverted by the oil giant from AITEO Eastern E & P Company Ltd.
Justice Oluremi Omowunmi Oguntoyinbo gave the order following an ex parte application in suit no FHC/L/CS/52/202 where AITEO Eastern E & P Company Ltd is the plaintiff/applicants and SPDC Ltd is the first defendant.
THE Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Shell Western Supply and Trading Ltd, Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd, and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd are second, third, fourth and fifth defendants.
The respondents in the suit were 20 banks which Shell companies operate accounts with.
AITEO’s application was filed by Messrs Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), leading Dr Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Dapo Olanipekun (SAN), and four other Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
Oguntoyinbo, in his ruling said, the banks should, “ring-fence any cash, bonds, deposits, all forms of negotiable instruments to the value of $2.7billion and pay all standing credits to the Shell companies up to the value into an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the court.”
He also ruled that the Chief Registrar is to “hold the funds in trust pending the hearing of the motion and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction filed before it by AITEO.”
The order followed an application by AITEO Eastern E & P against SPDC and the other defendants with the 20 lenders as respondents.
The court had restrained the defendants or their agents/privies from presenting to the banks “any mandate or instrument for the withdrawal of any money and/or funds standing to the credit of any of the accounts” of the defendants kept/maintained “at any of the named respondent banks… without first preserving/ring-fencing the sum of $1,251,305.5 or its equivalent in any other official currency, including but not limited to the naira and/or pound sterling being the value of the plaintiff’s 1,022,029 barrels of crude oil (at the rate of $79.50 per barrel as stated in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) letter dated 8th day of July, 2020.”
The respondents were further barred from offering any directive or instrument to the named banks for the withdrawal or any money and/or funds standing to the credit of any of the accounts of the five defendants kept or sustained at any of the named respondent banks and/or their branches without first preserving and or ring-fencing the total sum of $2,700,583,779,75 or its equivalent in any other official currency comprising of $799,000,000.00.
The sum is “the amounts claimed to have been paid in this suit by the plaintiff to the five defendants for the acquisition of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) pipelines and the assets; $389,631,877.76 being the total amount claimed in this suit as having been lost by the plaintiff arising from the leakages in the NCTL and the degraded conditions of the NCTL; $578,951,901.99 being the total amount claimed in this suit as having been lost by the plaintiff arising from the crude theft/larceny in the NCTL; $933,000,000 being the total amount claimed in this suit as having being expended by the plaintiff for the repairs of the pipelines and acquisition of the equipment including well-heads, generators, and pumps as well as replacing the flow lines within the NCTL.
“That pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction, the named banks whether by themselves, director, managers, officers or howsoever are restrained in the interim from accepting, honouring or giving effect in any manner howsoever to any mandate, cheque or instructions presented by all the five defendants whether by themselves or through their agents or privies for the withdrawal of any sum of money and/or funds standing to the credit of all the defendants kept and or maintained at any of the named banks and or their branches without first preserving and or ring-fencing the sums as ordered in prayers 1, 2, 3 and/or 4 above.”
Oguntoyinbo ordered that the respondent banks, “to pay any sums of money standing to the credit of the defendants within 48 hours of the service of the order of this honourable court up to the sum/value of the amounts stated in prayers 1,2,3, and 4 above into an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of this honourable court, who is to hold same in trust.
“Pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for an interlocutory injunction, the respondent banks are directed to sequestrate and/or ring-fence any cash, bonds, deposits, all forms of negotiable instruments or chose(s) in the action due to or standing to the credit sum/value of the amounts stated in prayer 1, 2 ,3 and/or 4 above.
“That pending the hearing and determination of the motion for an interlocutory injunction, the named banks are directed to file within 48hours of service of the order of this honourable court on them returns of the statement of account of the all the five defendants maintained with them as at the date of the order of this honourable court, such returns to be verified by affidavits”.
When the matter came up, the court was informed that the defendants had filed an application seeking to discharge the order.
The judge adjourned further proceedings till Wednesday, February 24.
Enugu: Court Remands Siblings For Alleged Murder Of Makeup Artiste
An Enugu State High Court, presided by Justice I. K. Okpe yesterday remanded two siblings allegedly involved in the murder of makeup artiste, Ijeoma Nneke, in Enugu Correctional Center.
The prosecuting counsel, Mrs Ngozi Ikem-Okoye. informed the court that the prosecution also had an application that sought the leave of the court to call additional witnesses in the matter.
However, the defence counsel, Mr C. U. Okafor, in response, said that the application was unnecessary as the accused had yet to take pleas.
Okafor held that the case was not yet before the court, adding that the prosecution did not seem to be ready to prosecute the case.
Delivering judgment, Okpe adjourned the case until August 25 for ruling on the application to call additional witnesses.
Recall that the two siblings were alleged to have conspired to kill Ijeoma on November 11, 2020, at 66 Ozubulu Street, Independence Layout, Enugu.
They were also alleged to have killed the victim by forcing her to drink poisonous substances and thereafter poured acid all over her body.
Court Criticises DSS Over Failure To Produce Detained Igboho’s Aides
A Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday criticised the Department of State Services (DSS) over failure to produce in court the 12 persons arrested at the residence of Yoruba nation’s agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu, in a ruling, also ordered the DSS to produce the applicants in court in the next adjourned date.
The Tide learnt that Justice Egwuatu had, on July 23, ordered the DSS to produce the detainees in court yesterday.
The order followed a fundamental right enforcement suit that the lawyers to the detained applicants, Pelumi Olajengbesi, filed on their behalf, pursuant to Section 32(1) and (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) as well as Sections 6(6), 35 and 36 of 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The 12 persons, who had been in the DSS detention since July 2, are; Abdullateef Ofeyagbe, Amoda Babatunde (Aka Lady K), Tajudeen Erinoyen, Diakola Ademola, Abideen Shittu, and Jamiu Noah.
Others are Ayobami Donald, Adelabe Usman, Oluwafelumi Kunle, Raji Kazeem, Taiwo Opeyemi and Bamidele Sunday.
The Tide source reports that the DSS had, on July 1, confirmed that its operatives stormed Igboho’s home in Ibadan, arrested about 13 suspects; including a female and 12 males.
It also disclosed that two people were killed in the raid.
However, at the resumed hearing yesterday, Counsel to the DSS, I. Awo, informed the court that the applicants could not be brought because the service procured an order to hold the detainees.
Awo based the absence of the 12 detainees on the grounds that investigations into the circumstances that led to their arrest at Mr Igboho’s home were ongoing.
He hinted that of the 12 detainees on the court’s order, only three were being held by the DSS.
The lawyer listed the three detainees in the DSS custody to include: Amoda Babatunde (Aka Lady K), Diakola Ademola and Bamidele Sunday.
Reacting, Olajengbesi, urged the court to reject the service’s explanation as it was in contempt of the court’s order.
“The apparent affront on the authority of the court by the DSS cannot be justified,” the applicants’ lawyer argued.
He urged the court to discountenance the purported detention order that was procured by the DSS, arguing that it was not a Certified True Copy (CTC).
The lawyer prayed the court to admit his clients to bail.
Olajengbesi also informed the court that he had been denied access to his client, and urged the court to make an order in that regard.
Ruling, Egwuatu charged the DSS to purge itself of such a negative public perception as it did not paint a good picture of Nigeria before the international community.
He then ordered the security outfit to produce the detainees and show cause why they should not be granted bail.
“An order is hereby made directing the respondent (DSS) to allow the applicants’ counsel have access to the applicants, and the respondents are ordered to produce the applicants on the next adjourned date,” he said.
He adjourned the matter until August 2 for continuation of hearing.
Anambra Poll: Obi, Ozigbo Beg PDP Stakeholders To Unite For Victory
Former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi and one of the two factional governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Valentine Ozigbo, have begged stakeholders and members of the party to unite for easy victory during the November 6 election in the state.
Obi and Ozigbo spoke yesterday in Awka, during a reconciliation meeting of the party, which was summoned by Ozigbo to reunite members of the party, after the rancour caused by the holding of two primary elections by the party on June 26, which produced Ozigbo and Senator Ugochukwu Uba.
Obi, while speaking at the meeting called on everyone to come together and work for the victory of the party in the forthcoming governorship election, saying that the primary was over and should be done with.
“I’m ready to beg all the aspirants for us to win the election. This candidate must win this election and we will not run away in our State because of anyone. I will win my local government and that is my assurance, nothing will stop us from winning the governorship election. Anambra must not go back to what it used to be.
“PDP has the best candidate for this election and we are going to win it, we have a formidable candidate and we need a formidable team to win it. I’m committed to PDP 24 hours and the party’s governors in the country are committed to winning the Anambra State election. It is our own election and we will win it,” the former governor said.
Ozigbo, in his address, reeled out the efforts he had made in reconciling every member and aspirants but regretted that the litigations in the party had held it down, adding that the party’s legal team was not relenting in evacuating the obstacles.
“I didn’t win the primary, but PDP and Anambra won. We’re one family but we are going to unite soon. Our enemies are not within, but outside PDP. PDP is a platform that will bring Igbo together, nobody should weave in what is happening now. We’re going to occupy the government house by the grace of God.
“The major reason for the gathering is to thank you for what you did and thank you for what you will do in the coming days because the real battle is coming. We are not celebrating because the real celebration will come on November 6. There’s a need for us to go into the governorship battle as a united family.
“I’ve visited my co-aspirants and I received positive vibes from Senator Uche Ekwunife, Hon Chris Azubogu, Dr Obiora Okonkwo, Dr Godwin Maduka, Mr Godwin Ezeemo and others.
“What I want to tell you now is that every other party in this State is counterfeit from APGA to APC to YPP and that is why I’m begging all our stakeholders to have faith in me and I won’t disappoint them.
“They should forgive and forget and I’m ready to make every sacrifice for all of us to come together. We want to make the founder of PDP, late Dr Alex Ekwueme, proud whereever he is and that’s the assurance I gave the daughter, lady Chidi Onyemelukwe, when we spoke before the meeting.
- Politics4 days ago
Andoni Chairman Tasks Councillors On Capacity Dev
- Politics4 days ago
RSG To Seal Dirty Business Places, Illegal Motor Parks
- Sports4 days ago
Coach Expresses Joy Over Players’ Performance
- News4 days ago
Cyber Crime: FBI Declares Six Nigerians Most Wanted
- Politics4 days ago
Soludo: ‘INEC Must Redeem Self’
- Niger Delta4 days ago
Monarch Charges FG, Others On Abandoned Road Projects
- Politics4 days ago
INEC Registers 9,261 Online In C’River
- Nation4 days ago
‘Media, Military Relations Can Be Enhanced In Conflict Reporting’