Liman’s Absence Stalls Judgement On Arco, Agip Case

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The absence of Justice Abdullah Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt yesterday stalled delivering of judgement on a suit by an indigenous oil servicing firm, ARCO Group Plc, against the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC).

Liman had fixed Friday, October 7, 2016 for delivery of judgement on the matter, but told parties involved in the matter that he will deliver judgement yesterday in six motions including jurisdiction, motion on notice and contempt charges over maintenance of status quo as ordered by the court.

Judgement on the matter had been fixed for September 23, 2016, but the Court could not sit as a result of Judges Conference that held in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Parties involved in the matter, including counsel to Arco, Mr. Beluolisa Nwofor, SAN waited for several hours at Federal High Court 1, until around noon when a senior judiciary officer advised them to come back on Friday, October 14, 2016.

Recall that Arco is challenging the attempt by NAOC to remove it from the OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale gas plants contract in the Niger Delta.

Joined as defendants in the suit are the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Conco Philips Petroleum Nigeria Limited and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NPIMS).

In suit No: FHC/PH/CS/02/2015, filed before a Federal High Court, the company had sought seven reliefs including the granting of exclusive right for the maintenance of the gas plants, operated through Joint Venture by NAOC.

Arco also sought a declaration that the persistent and deliberate failure of NAOC to award the contract for the maintenance of the said plants, as well as grant an extension of the award by way of interim or stop gap contract, violated the Section 3 (2, 3) of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010.


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