Intels Nigeria Limited has insisted that the ex-parte orders made by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court in the suits instituted by Ports & Terminal Operators Limited PTOL, Nigerdock and Ladol against the Nigerian Ports Authority are at variance with an earlier judgment delivered by the Port Harcourt Division of the Court in 2014.
Reacting to insinuations to the contrary made by the Managing Director of PTOL, Mrs.Liizzie Ovbude published in the Vanguard Newspaper of Tuesday 26th May,2015, the General Manager, Legal of Intels, Mike N. Epelle asserted that the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court, in a judgment delivered by Hon. Justice Lambo Akambi on the 8th of July 2014, in the suit filed by Associated Maritime Services Limited (AMS) against City Real Estate & Property Management Company Ltd. with Suit No.FHC/PH/CS/74/2014 ruled inter-alia:-
“That under an by virtue of the Nigerian Ports Authority Act CapN-123 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and in particular, Sections 7(a),(b),(c) and (k); 8(1) and 32(1) thereof, the Nigerian Ports Authority is vested with powers to enforce compliance with the arrangements made by the BPE designating all Federal Ports in the country as to guarantee, among others, efficient management of ports operation’’
‘’That all imports or exports of oil and Gas cargoes are to be undertaken through the designated Oil & Gas Terminals and are liable to be charged such rates and delivery charges applicable to oil and gas cargoes ,as approved by the Nigerian Ports Authority (the Concessioner)’’
According to Mr Epelle, the effect of the Orders made by the Federal High Court Lagos in the various suits filed by PTOL, Nigerdock and Ladol which now restrained NPA in respect of vessels meant for those terminals means that NPA cannot issue directive as to the appropriate port terminal for such vessels to berth even if they are carrying oil & gas related cargoes. This is at variance with the pronouncement of Justice Lambo of the Federal High Court Port Harcourt in the suit filed by Associated Maritime Services Limited (AMS) against City Real Estate & Property Management Company.
Mr Epelle stressed that his comments were not in any way intended to mislead the public nor cast aspersions on the judiciary as suggested by Mrs. Ovubude adding that he has unflinching confidence in the ability of the courts to ultimately do justice in the suits as interested parties have taken necessary legal steps in order to ventilate the facts.