A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday ordered the Federal Government to pay the sum of over N33 billion as losses suffered by an indigenous oil firm, Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited.
The plaintiff had sued the Minister of Finance (1st defendant), Debt Management Office (DMO) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) who are 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively over Petroleum Subsidy Fund claims owed the firm.
Delivering judgment, Justice Adeniyi Ademola held that the defendants were under obligation to pay the plaintiff the said sum for its under recoveries from cargoes of regulated petroleum product (Premium Motor Spirit) imported by Capital Oil and sold to the Nigerian public at prices fixed by the PPPRA in 2012.
The court also held that the plaintiff, having satisfied all requirements for payments due to it, including its clearance by the Attorney General of the Federal, the Nigeria police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from any complicity in the mismanagement or fraud of the PSF, it was mandatory of the defendants to pay it the said sum of N33 billion.
The plaintiff’s counsel, Ajibola Oluyede, had in an originating summons dated and filed on April 27, 2015, formulated the following issues for determination, and urged the court to grant all the reliefs sought in the suit, which the court granted all without exception:
“That a declaration is made that the 1st to 3rd defendants are obliged by the provisions of the PPPRA Establishment Act, the Executive Order of March 2010 to make payments to the plaintiff in the total sum of 15.139 billion naira for its under recoveries from cargoes of regulated petroleum product imported by it into Nigeria and sold to the Nigerian public.
“That an order is hereby made on the 1st to 2nd defendants to immediately issue to the plaintiff a SDN in the sum of 10.389 billion naira being the value of the Sovereign Debt Statement already issued in favour of the plaintiff by the 3rd defendant plus interest and differentials up to 4th march 2015.
“That an order is made on the 3rd defendant to issue, within 48 hours of the judgment of the court, a Sovereign Debt Statement in the value of 4.750 billion naira being the value of under recoveries by the plaintiff as certified by relevant agencies and notified to the 3rd defendant,” among other similar orders.
This was, however, opposed by the counsel to the defendants, Mrs. N.C. Odili, J.I. Ike and Ahmed Uwais.
The Street Journal reports that Capital Oil and Gas is owned by Nigerian billionaire businessman, Mr Ifeanyi Uba,