A lawyer walks through the compound at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi district in Lagos, Nigeria, May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Reuters

A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed March 29 for the hearing of litigation at the instance of a human rights organization, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), which urged the Federal government to revoke OPL 245 involving some oil conglomerates.

HEDA, in a suit, marked HEDA V. AGF & 3 ORS, Suit No: FHC/L/CS/532/18 is raising issues of transparency and accountability in the issuance of oil operating license.

R.A.O Adegoke and Aishat Odekunle representing the HEDA asked the court to grant its request to probe into processes involving the license which HEDA said were flawed.

HEDA’s counsel Adegoke said that all parties had been served their processes of which the defendants have responded with their preliminary objections.

The Plaintiff equally filed its reply to all, hence, counsel to the defendant applied for a short date for the hearing of the matter.

O. Ojo and M. Nwodo stood for the 2nd Defendant, Abiodun Rufai for the 3rd Defendant and E. A. Ejiga, (Miss) for the 4th Defendant

The 2nd Defendant objected and rather requested a date for the hearing of the preliminary objections filed by the 2nd to 4th Defendants which challenge the jurisdiction of the court and this was seconded by the other defendants.

Consequently, the court adjourned till 29th day of March 2019 for the hearing of the preliminary objections of all the defendants after which it will then give its ruling and decide whether there is a need to hear the Plaintiff’s application or not.

When General Sani Abacha was in power, his petroleum minister, Dan Etete, his son Muhammed Abacha, and two other “persons”, suspected to be phony formed an oil company, Malabu Oil & Gas Limited. The Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 was granted to Malabu Oil & Gas Limited by the Abacha Administration in 1998. General Sani Abacha died in 1998. OPL 245 was revoked by President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2001 but re-allocated to Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited (SNUD) in 2002, under a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) arrangement.

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