The Federal Government has filed 2 cases at the Federal High Court in Lagos against 2 multinational oil companies, demanding $635 million as compensation for undeclared 57 million barrels of crude oil shipped out of the country between 2011 and 2014.
The cases were filed by Professor Fabian Ajogwu for the FG against Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Nigeria Agip Oil Company Limited. The FG is demanding $490,517,280 and $145,848,102 respectively from the 2companies for what it has termed as illegal exportation of crude oil from the country.
To support its claims, the FG submitted sworn affidavits from 3 professionals in the oil and gas sector who are currently based in the United States of America. They are Professor David Olowokere, a US citizen who is the lead Analyst at Loumos Group LLC, a technology and oil and gas auditing firm based in United States of America, Jerome Stanley, a counsel in the law firm of Henchy & Hackenberg, a law firm based in United States of America and head of the legal team engaged by Loumo Group LLC, as well as Michael Kanko a citizen and resident of the State of Arizona United States of America, who is the founder and the current Chief Executive Officer of Trade Data Services Company.
According to the FG, it noticed a drop in export revenue in 2014 and launched an investigation into the cause for the drop. The results of this investigation, according to the FG, showed that the drop was due to under-declaration and non-declaration in some instances of crude oil shipments by major oil and gas companies operating in the country to relevant authorities.
The FG claims that the total value of undeclared and under-declared crude oil exports by Total E&P Nigeria Limited is $245,258,640, while it is demanding the same amount in addition as damages to the FG. The situation is similar with Nigerian Agip Oil Company, as the company is being accused of $145,848,551 in undeclared and under-declared crude oil exports and the same amount in damages.
Parts of this article originally appeared in Guardian Newspapers