Ten oil firms on Wednesday secured a joint order of the Federal High Court in Lagos barring the Federal Government from transferring the oil fields awarded to them.
The court barred the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Director of Petroleum Resources in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Auwalu Sarki, from giving effect to an April 6, 2020 letter written to the 10 oil firms.
Justice C.J. Aneke granted the restraining orders after entertaining an ex parte application by counsel for the oil firms, Messrs Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) and Uche Nwokedi (SAN).
The oil firms, which secured the restraining orders, are Associated Oil and Gas Limited; Dansaki Petroleum Unlimited; Bayelsa Oil Company Limited; Bicta Energy and Management Systems Limited; Del-Sigma Petroleum Nigeria Limited; Goland Petroleum Limited; Independent Energy Limited; Sahara Energy Limited; African Oil and Gas Limited; and Sogenal Limited.
Justice Aneke made an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the respondents and their agents jointly and severally “from taking any further step pursuant to the respondents’ letter dated 6th April to award, transfer, alienate, assign, sell or howsoever called to any other person, the Marginal Field(s), which were awarded to the applicants, in whole or any part thereof, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”
The court said the respondents must not “invite, write, advertise to, publish to, announce to” anyone a bidding process for the contentious oil fields, pending the determination of the suit by the oil firms.
The court ordered the respondents to allow the oil firms to continue to “manage, operate, control, explore” the oil fields pending the determination of the suit.
Justice Aneke adjourned the suit till June 29 for mention.