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Court Bars President Jonathan From Relocating Lagos Project

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The concluded plan by the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan and some government agencies to relocate a $500 million oil and gas storage project from Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Lagos to Agga in Bayelsa State has suffered a setback.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has issued injunctions restraining the agencies from carrying out the order.
Also mentioned and affected in the judgment given by the Presiding Justice of the Court, J.T Tsoho, on Tuesday May 12, are the National Assembly, the Federal Ministry of Transport and the attorney general of the federation.
According to Prof. Fidelis Oditah QC, SAN, who filed the motion on behalf of LADOL, which is the major investment partner of the said project, the injunctions ensure that all related agencies, including the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), must allow vessels and cargoes to proceed directly to any port of choice, including oil and gas cargoes without any hindrance.
The injunctions also prevent the passing of the amendments to the Oil and Gas Export Free Zones Act which sought, among other changes, to impose a foreign-owned monopoly on the movement of oil and gas cargoes in Nigeria, and to transfer control of 12 Free Zone’s in Nigeria currently under the NEPZA Act to the control of the Oil and Gas Free Zone, which is controlled by the same foreign-owned monopoly company.
The injunctions granted read as follows:
1. Injunction restraining the House of Representatives of the National Assembly from considering or passing the amendment of sections 1, 2 and 12(5) of the 1996 Act inserted by sections 2, 3 and 10 of the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Act (Amendment) Bill 2013 passed by the Senate on 7 May 2015 pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the Plaintiffs/Applicants in these proceedings.
2. Injunction restraining the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from assenting to the amendment of sections 1, 2, 12(5) of the 1996 Act inserted by sections 2, 3 and 10 of the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Act (Amendment) Bill 2013 passed by the Senate on 7 May 2015 pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the Plaintiffs/Applicants in these proceedings.
3. Injunction restraining the Defendants and each of them and/or agents and/or privies from taking any step to enforce the purported directive of the President of the Federal of Nigeria contained in the letter from NPA to the Plaintiff dated 27 April 2015 to the effect that all oil and gas related cargoes must be handled at the designated Intels terminals in Onne, Warri and Calabar ports pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the Plaintiffs/Applicants in these proceedings.
4. Injunction restraining the Defendants and each of them and/or agents and/or privies from taking any step to enforce the purported directive of the President of the Federal of Nigeria contained in the letter from NPA to the Plaintiff dated 27 April 2015 requiring the Plaintiff to build its fabrication and FPSO integration facility at designated Intels terminals in Onne, Warri or Calabar ports pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the Plaintiffs/Applicants in these proceedings.

As at the time of making this report, we are not sure the reason behind the urgent and unwarranted moves by the president to transfer a project which is almost at completion to his home state.

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