Alleged Crude oil theft: Court adjourns case against Shell till Dec 8

imagesThe suit by the Federal Government against Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nig. Limited and its subsidiary, Shell Western Supply and Trading Limited, over alleged crude oil theft has been adjourned till December 8, 2016 by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday.
Counsel to the Federal Government in the suit is Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN.
The case was adjourned following the absence of the trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun.
The plaintiff has, meanwhile, filed an amended statement of claim, which is yet to  be moved.
Government in the suit is claiming the sum of $406.7million from the defendants, representing the shortfall of money paid by it, into the Federal Government account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. The money was said to be for crude oil lifted in 2013 and 2014.
In a supporting affidavit, the Federal Government had accused Shell of not declaring or under-declaring crude oil shipments during the period, adding that this was discovered following forensic analysis of bills of laden and shipping documents, which showed that Shell was cheating  Nigeria of revenue.
According to the affidavit, the consortium of experts tracked the global movements of the country’s hydro-carbons, including crude oil and gas, as they identified the companies engaged in the practices that led to missing revenues from crude oil and gas export sales to different parts of the world.
Government further averred that they also uncovered discrepancies in the export records from Nigeria with the import records at United States ports.
Plaintiff averred that the undeclared shipments between January 2013 and December 2014 brought the value of the entire shortfall to $406.75 million.
The defendants were said to have failed to respond to a Federal Government letter through its legal representative, seeking clarification over the discrepancies.
The Federal Government is, therefore, seeking a court order compelling the two companies to pay $406.75 million, being the total value of the missing revenue and interest payment at 21 percent per annum.
The government is also asking Shell to pay general exemplary damages in the sum of $406.75 million as well as the cost of the legal action.

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