Supreme Court to rule on Brittania-U, Chevron Oil bloc dispute on January 29
The Supreme Court has fixed January 29, 2016 for judgment in the dispute between Chevron and Brittania-U, which arose following the failure of the former to transfer ownership of some oil blocs to the latter having successfully out-bided other oil firms during the bidding exercise.
Counsel to the contending parties yesterday confirmed that judgment has been fixed for the said date following the adoption of their briefs of argument on the appeal before the apex court.
While adopting his brief of argument, counsel to the appellant, (Brittania-U) Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN) supported by Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) submitted that the appeal before it was in respect of the judgment of the Court of Appeal of June 20, 2014, which vacated the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division for the maintenance of status quo with regards to the oil blocks.
Accordingly, Tarfa prayed the court to grant the motion for mandatory restorative order to revert parties to status quo before the appeal was lodged.
The Federal High Court had, on December 13, 2013, issued an interim injunction restraining Chevron of the assignment of OML 52, 53 and 55 to any of the unsuccessful bidding companies including Seplat in the bid won by Brittania-U in September 2013.
Tarfa prayed the apex court panel headed by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta to uphold Brittania-U’s appeal, set aside the decision of the Appeal Court and dismiss the preliminary objections of Chevron and other respondents in the appeal.
Seplat’s counsel, Mr. Damian Dodo (SAN) while adopting his respondent’s brief dated March 23, 2015 and filed on March 24, 2015, prayed the court to dismiss the appeal, which he submitted was an interlocutory appeal.
Dodo further submitted that the core issue raised the Brittania-U appeal is whether or not the lower court was right to set aside the ex parte order by the trial court that extended the order of interim injunction granted in favour of the appellant indefinitely, pointing out that the substantive matter was still pending.
While adopting his own written brief, counsel for the 2nd and 4th respondents, Mr. Uche Nwokedi (SAN) told the court that he respondent’s reply to the brief of argument.
He also filed a notice of preliminary objection to hearing of the appeal, which was filed on same day with the reply to the brief of argument.