Bablink Slams $150M Suit Against Brentex Petroleum Ltd, China Petroleum Pipeline Co. Ltd

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… Secures Mareva Injunction freezing the Bank Accounts of the Defendants

By Kenneth Atavti

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Nyanya, presided by Justice Edward Okpe, has granted a Mareva injunction restraining eight financial institutions, each and everyone of them their servants, agents and privies from transferring or dealing with or paying over or disposing of however, any money standing to the credit or which may come to the credit or for the benefit or to any of the Defendants or all the Defendants or removing such moneys in the Defendants Bank Account as listed in “EXHIBIT A” attached to the affidavit in support of the instant application, from jurisdiction, pending the determination of the substantive suit in this Court.

Justice Okpe made the order upon hearing of a motion exparte marked FCT/HC/M/1962/2023, dated and filed on December 13, 2023.

The exparte motion moved by Matthew Onoja Esq. on behalf of Bablink Resources Nig. Ltd. on Thursday, was drawn from a suit marked FCT/HC/CV/589/2023, filed by Bablink Resources Nig. Ltd. against Brentex Petroleum Ltd. and China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Co. Ltd.

“The Defendants’ Bank Account Exhibit “A” to which this order relates attached to the affidavit in support of the Motion is hereby incorporated as part of this order” Justice Okpe ordered.

Meanwhile, in the substantive suit, Bablink wants declaration that the Claimant acted jointly with the Defendants (by deploying its technical expertise, experience, facilities, personnel, amongst others) in the formation of the unincorporated Brentex-CPP Consortium that submitted a bid to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and successfully won the contract for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of part of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline (“AKK Gas Pipeline Project”).

Bablink wants an order directing the Defendants to pay it a sum representing at least 30% of the net profit accruing to the Brentex-BPP Consortium for the portion of the Contract already performed without the participation of the Claimant or any other sum the court may determine considering the overall circumstances of the case as compensation for the Claimant’s efforts towards the award of the Contract to the Defendants by the NNPC.

The Claimant is asking for an order of compensation to the tune of ₦10,000,000,000.00 (Ten Billion Naira) in favour of the Claimant and to be paid by the Defendants for the unjust, unfair, callous and unconscionable exclusion of the Claimant so far from performing part of the Contract as agreed by the parties and evidenced by the Origin and Scope of the Tenderer’s Supplier/Sub-contractors Form dated 6th April 2016, which was submitted by the Defendants to NNPC for the award of the AKK Gas Pipeline Project.

“A declaration that the deployment of the Claimant’s complementary assets, certifications, qualifications, experience, equipment and personnel provided significant advantage to the Brentex-CPP Consortium and led to the eventual award of part of the AKK Gas Pipeline Project now known as Segment II of the AKK Gas Pipeline Project to the Defendants by the NNPC.

“A declaration that the Claimant, having acted jointly with the Defendants to bid and win Segment II of the AKK Gas Pipeline Project is entitled to be awarded project management services, execution of some subcontracts within the scope of the work in full spectrum of Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation Pipelines i.e. Construction and Pre-commissioning works as agreed by the parties and evidenced by the Origin and Scope of the Tenderer’s Supplier/Sub-contractors Form dated 6th April 2016 which was submitted by the Defendants to NNPC for the award of the AKK Gas Pipeline Project or in the alternative share in the profits accruing from the performance of the Contract by the Brentex-CPP Consortium.

The Claimant is also seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants from sourcing or continue to source all the materials needed for the performance of the Contract from China or outside the country in continuous violation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act and other relevant laws and contrary to the understanding between the parties as evidenced by the bidding documents submitted to the NNPC.

Bablink wants a perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants from engaging other local companies and contractors who were not prequalified by NNPC and whose facilities, expertise and experience were never inspected, ascertained and certified satisfactory by NNPC.

“₦500,000,000.00 (Five Hundred Million Naira) damages for the reputational loss and loss of goodwill suffered by the Claimant as a result of the Defendants’ unfair and unconscionable conduct.

“₦1,000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira) general damages for breach of the understanding and agreement between the parties in bidding and winning the Contract, the subject matter of this suit.

“Post judgment interest of 25% per annum on the Judgment sum from the date of judgment until the final liquidation of the judgment sum.

Among other prayers, Bablink is seeking an order directing the defendants to allow the Claimant to undertake and perform the remaining Pipeline Construction and Pre-commissioning works of the Contract as of the date of filing of this suit.