A Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos has ordered a Nigerian firm, Nadabo Energy Limited and a London- based company, Trafigura Beheer BV engaged in legal battle over a cargo of 950,000 crude oil to maintain status quo.
The court also warned the two parties not do anything that will overreach it.
Justice, Rilwan Aikawa had earlier ordered the Nigerian company Nadabo to serve the court process on the British company, Trafigura Beheer B V out of jurisdiction and five Nigerian companies dragged before the court alleged to have laundered N24 billion.
Joined as co -defendants in the legal battle to secure court order to detain about 950,000 barrels of oil belonging to the company are five Nigerian companies: Mettle Energy &Gas Limited, Renbrant Limited, Jill Engineering and oil Services Limited, Q&Q Control Services Nigeria limited, General Marine &oil Services Limited.
The plaintiff ‘s lawyer, Chief Emefo Etudo, told the court that all the parties have been served, therefore there is need for the court to order all the parties to maintain status quo and an order of the court ordering the foreign party to be served.
In an affidavit sworn to by the Executive Director of Nadabo Energy Company, Mr. Reuben Etila, and filed before the court by Barrister, Adeola Ojo, the deponent averred that, Nadabo Energy Company obtained $16million loan from Spring Bank Plc to import petroleum products for onward supply to Mobil.
However Trafigura Beheer B V colluded with some officials of the Spring bank Plc to steal substantial part of the money and the supply cargo now valued at N24 billion from the Nadabo Company, the money was received by letters of credit and converted same to multiple businesses, Shipping and crude oil lifting and 950,000 barrels of crude oil it is attempting to load this month at Exxonmobil /Esso Terminal ERHA. The crude oil belongs to the plaintiff.
Etila also averred that this fraud that killed Spring bank Plc was just discovered this year and the President and commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has just been petitioned for swift action, therefore it is necessary not to allow Trafigura Beheer B V to take all her properties (crude oil) out of the jurisdiction of the court so that any judgement given by the court will not be in vain.
Spring Bank Plc was alleged to have died as a result of the alleged fraud As a result of this fraud Nadabo Company was blacklisted from securing further loan from any Nigerian bank until it pays the money back.
Etila alleged further that the stolen assets of the company had been converted into ships and crude oil by Trafigura Beheer BV and other colluding parties and the plaintiff in this legal action is claiming title to the said laundered assets as notice of discovery was also given to the respondents this year.
The company which is a foreign company upon receipt of the said notice decided to quickly move her known assets the 950,000 barrels of crude oil that is within the jurisdiction of this court out of the jurisdiction and vanish to Europe.
Nadabo Company filed undertaking as to damages with the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court and therein depose that it will indemnify the defendants or whosoever of any damage that may be caused by making of order of injunction if it turned out that the order ought not to have been made.
Justice Aikawa has adjourned the case till January 24, 2018 for further hearing.
18 December, 2017