FG, NNPCL secure judgment over oil mining leases formerly operated by ADDAX

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The Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd have secured a landmark judgment over oil mining leases formerly operated by ADDAX as a Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday struck out a suit by Kaztec Engineering Ltd, describing it as incompetent.

The court presided over by Justice N.E. Maha, gave the decisive ruling by striking out Kaztec Engineering Ltd’s lawsuit aimed at challenging NNPC’s statutory concession for OMLs 123, 124, 126, and 137.

This newspaper recalls that Kaztec Ltd had instituted the suit against the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd, and others, seeking a declaration that the review of the award of OMLs 123, 124, 126, and 137 which had as far back as 2002 awarded to NNPCL was wrongful.

In its judgment, the court held that the plaintiff’s case lacked merit, primarily due to their failure to fulfill the essential requirement of paying the signature bonus.

This bonus, being a condition precedent to the award of OMLs 123, 124, 126, and 137, rendered Kaztec’s suit frivolous in law, it ruled.

The court also held that the plaintiff failed to join necessary parties to the suit, saying this omission led to the court’s determination that the entire legal action by Kaztec Engineering Ltd constituted an abuse of the court process.

Kaztec’s suit is hereby unequivocally struck out for being incompetent, declared Justice Maha,

Earlier, counsel to the NNPCL, Mr Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN) from Afe Babalola and Co., and other defendants had challenged the jurisdiction of the court to determine the suit.

While objecting to the suit, the defendants maintained that the suit lacked a cause of action since Kaztec rumoured to be owned by Sir Emeka Offor did not pay the required signature bonuses for the OMLs.