NIMASA/NLNG Feud: Court To Hear Preliminary Objections Tomorrow

LAGOS – The Federal High Court Sitting In Lagos will on Tuesday hear the preliminary applications challenging its jurisdiction to entertain the case between the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

NLNG and NIMASA had been locked in a fierce battle over the issue of non-payment of certain statutory levies and charges which NIMASA claims are due to it from NLNG.

The court adjourned proceedings on Monday after dismissing the applications filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Global West Vessels Specialist which sought to discharge the ex-parte order the court granted in favour of NLNG.

Federal High CourtOn 18t June 2013, Justice Mohammed Idris, had granted an ex-parte order restraining the defendants from charging, imposing, demanding or collecting the 3% of gross freight earnings or any other sums further to section 15(a) of NIMASA Act 2007 on all of NLNG’s international inbound or outbound cargo ships owned, contracted or subcontracted by it.

The court struck out the application of the Attorney General of the federation on the ground that it was filed outside the time permitted by the court rules while that of Global West was dismissed on the grounds that there was no suppression of any material fact, and that the company could be sued on behalf of its principal (NIMASA).

The court however declined to reaffirm the ex-parte order granted to NLNG. Justice Idris ruled that he would rather hear the applications of the defendants challenging his jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

The matter was, thereafter, adjourned till July 9, 2013 for hearing of the preliminary objections filed by the defendants.

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