After a long drawn legal battle that has lasted nearly two decades, the Supreme Court has annulled Mobil Nigeria’s dismissal of 860 staff in the year 2000. The court, also upheld an earlier judgement by a Court of Appeal, that they be granted their salaries and allowances from the day they were dismissed.
Mobil appointed the staff in 1990 as members of its security unit. The company later designated them as Supernumerary Police. These are trained personnel with the necessary skills to maintain law and order within their organizations. SPY Police officers, in many cases have worked for their organizations before undergoing training by the police They are however not police officers. Mobil, then transferred their services to the Nigerian Police.
The Court’s position
In its verdict, the court ruled in favour of the workers, basing its judgement on the Police Act and employment letters tendered by the workers. Supernumerary Police, can only be employed by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) after the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has applied and received clearance from the President and upon recommendation by the Police Service Commission (PSC).
How does this affect Mobil ?
Mobil Producing Nigeria is a distinct entity from Mobil Nigeria Plc ( now 11 Plc) which is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The company may have to engage in an out of court settlement with the affected workers. This could potentially run into hundreds of millions of Naira.
While Mobil does not have a break down of revenue per country, Nigeria plays a prominent role in its African operations.
Mobil Producing Nigeria began operations in 1955 as Mobil Exploration Nigeria Incorporated (MENI). The company alongside NNPC, operates over 90 offshore platforms comprising of about 300 producing wells at a capacity of over 550 thousand barrels a day of crude, condensate and natural gas liquids (NGL).