Court Fixes Date For Ruling On Oil and Gas Free Zone Order

Court Fixes Date For Ruling On Oil and Gas Free Zone OrderA Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday fixed Oct. 23 for ruling in an application seeking to revoke an interim order restraining the enforcement of a presidential directive that oil and gas cargoes should be handled in Onne, Warri and Calabar.

Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Company (LADOL) had sometime in May through a motion ex parte urged the court to restrain the passage and assent of the bill “for an Act to amend the oil and gas free zone”.

Justice John Tsoho, who gave the interim order, also ordered that the status quo should be maintained till the hearing and determination of the main suit.

The defendants in the suit include the President of Nigeria, the National Assembly, Federal Ministry of Transport and the Attorney General of the federation.

LADOL had urged the court to ensure that vessels from foreign waters could berth directly at LADOL Free Zone in line with LADOL’s designation as a deep offshore logistics base permitted to receive two international vessels weekly

However, Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Ltd (INTELS) – an oil and gas firm – had brought an application urging the court to join the company as a defendant in the suit.

INTELS alongside Associated Maritime Services (AMS) were also urging the court to discharge the interim injunction.

INTELS had told the court that the issues for determination by the plaintiff touched directly on their business and financial interest particularly their interest in the oil and gas free zones in Onne, Warri and Calabar ports.

But LADOL had opposed the two applications for discharge of the order and the joinder application.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, the parties adopted their written addresses.

Justice Tsoho, however, adjourned the case till October 23 for ruling.


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