The legal dispute between Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (NAE) and Allied Energy/Camac over Oyo oilfield in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 120 deepened as Allied Energy has dragged the matter to the High Court of Lagos State after the Federal High Courts in Lagos and Port Harcourt had entertained the case, in addition to the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA).
Justice TAO Oyekan-Abdullai of the High Court of Lagos State, in Suit No LD/019FRJ/2017, has however, rejected an application by Allied Energy and Camac International Nigeria Limited for a mandatory injunction to compel NAE to discontinue the execution of the order of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos granted by Justice Hadiza R. Shagari on May 11, 2017 in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/625/2017 and upheld by the court on January 16, 2018.
The position of the High Court of Lagos State relates to an order by the Federal High Court on January 31, 2018, which was executed against Allied Energy and Camac’s assets including seizure of the crude oil produced from Oyo oilfields, sequel to an earlier enforcement order of the Federal High Court Lagos granted by Justice Hadiza R. Shagari.
Justice Hadiza R. Shagari’s order was for the recognition and enforcement of a Final Award rendered at the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on February 14, 2017 in favour of NAE against Allied Energy Plc, Camac International (Nigeria) Ltd and their parent company, Camac International Ltd (CIL) in respect of a contractual debt of over $200 million allegedly owed by the two companies to NAE.
Following the January 31, 2018 execution of the Writ of Attachment against their assets, Allied Energy and Camac filed an application at the Lagos State High Court praying for Mandatory Injunctions to compel NAE to take all steps to undo the process initiated at the Federal High Court, including but not limited to writing a formal letter to the Deputy Chief Registrar (Sheriff) of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division and Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court to forthwith discontinue the execution carried out at the instance of NAE on the January 31, 2018.
Specifically, Allied Energy and Camac applied for the mandatory injunction to remove all locks, chains and restraints of whatsoever nature on the export valves aboard the vessel FPSO Armada Perdana located offshore within Nigeria territorial waters, off Onne Port, Rivers State of Nigeria on OMLs 120 and 121, including all crude oil produced from Oyo fields discharged into the vessel FSPO Armada Perdana.
However, in a Ruling delivered on March 8, 2018 by Justice TA O Oyekan-Abdullai in Suit No. LD/019FRJ/2017, the Lagos State High Court refused Allied Energy and Camac’s application.
The arbitration award of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) which is being enforced by NAE arose from a dispute regarding a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) concluded in June 2012 between NAE as Seller and Allied Energy as Purchaser.
Under the SPA, NAE had transferred to Allied Energy Plc the entirety of NAE’s interests and rights in the two Oil Mining Leases 120 and 121 in the deep offshore region of Nigeria.
Payment of part of the price for the transferred interests and rights was deferred to be paid by Allied Energy to NAE.
As a result of alleged non-payment by Allied Energy Plc, NAE filed the arbitration at the London Court of International Arbitration in accordance with the arbitration terms provided in the SPA.
The arbitration was finally concluded on 14th February, 2017 when the Final Award was issued by the arbitrators awarding sums in excess of $200 million in favour of NAE against Allied Energy, Camac and their parent company, Camac International Limited.