There seems to be no peace at hand in the ongoing legal battle between Allied Energy Plc/Camac International Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Exploration Ltd, as the former recently instituted a fresh suit against the latter before the High Court of Lagos State.
Why the lawsuits?
The companies have been embroiled in a legal dispute centred on a $200 million contractual debt allegedly owed Nigerian Agip Exploration Ltd by Allied Energy Plc and Camac International Ltd. This protracted lawsuit has been tried at the Federal High Courts in Port Harcourt and Lagos, as well as the London Court of International Arbitration; and mostly in favour of Nigerian Agip Exploration Ltd. In January 2018, Justice Hadiza R. Shagari sustained a previous ruling mandating the seizure of assets belonging to Allied Energy and its partners.
The ruling also required the seizure of Allied Energy and Camac’s crude oil extracted from Oyo oilfield in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 120, as well as the locking down of facilities belonging to the companies. Their export valves aboard their vessels FPSP Armada Perdana was equally chained off. As a result, business operations in both companies were stranded.
Meanwhile, in the latest development, Allied Energy’s suit challenging the Federal Court rulings was struck out by Justice Tao Oyekan-Abdullai of the High Court of Lagos State, thereby rejecting the application for a halt on Nigerian Agip Exploration from continuing with the execution of the injunctions earlier granted in its favour.
More details about the case
The court injunction against Allied Energy Plc and Camac International Nigeria Limited which Nigerian Agip Exploration is now executing by locking down facilities belonging to the two companies is said to have stemmed from a dispute regarding a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA). The SPA was carried out in 2012, with Nigerian Agip Exploration Ltd as the seller, and Allied Energy Plc as the buyer.
As part of the SPA, Nigerian Agip Exploration Ltd transferred its interests in (OLM) Oil Mining Leases 120 and 121 to Allied Energy Plc and its partner. The payment for this transaction was deferred, to be paid at the given date. Unfortunately, Allied Energy Plc and Camac International Nigeria Limited failed to do this.
It was following this breach of contract that (i.e., the non-payment of debt) that Nigerian Agip Exploration Ltd filed lawsuits against Allied Energy Plc and Camac International Limited at the London Court of International Arbitration, in line with the terms and conditions of the SPA.
In February 2017, the sum of $200 million was awarded in favour of Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited, to be paid by Allied Energy Plc and Camac International Ltd and their parent company as settlement for the SPA; including accrued interests.
Allied Energy Plc and Camac International Nigeria Ltd are subsidiaries of Camac Group, which was founded in 1986 by renowned Nigerian-born industrialist Kase Lawal. The affiliated companies offer upstream oil and gas production services. Together, they manage several oil fields, including the controversial OML 120 and OML 121.