Nigerian court blocks Shell’s accounts over alleged oil theft
Post created on 10:39 am
The Federal High Court in Lagos has granted an interim mareva injunction directing commercial banks to block Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd accounts.
A mareva injunction is a court order freezing a party’s assets, until the determination of a case they are involved in, to stop them from taking it abroad.
The order was in a bid to recover the cash equivalent of more than 16 million barrels of crude oil allegedly diverted by the oil giant from AITEO Eastern E & P Company Ltd.
Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, the judge, gave the order Wednesday following an ex parte application where AITEO Eastern E & P Company Ltd is the plaintiff/applicants and SPDC Ltd is the first defendant.
Joined in the suit are Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Shell Western Supply and Trading Ltd, Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd as second, third, fourth and fifth defendants.
The respondents are the 20 banks where the Shell companies operate accounts in Nigeria.
AITEO’s application was filed by Kemi Pinheiro, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who led six other SANs, including Mike Ozekhome and Dapo Olanipekun.
The judge directed the 20 banks to “ring-fence any cash, bonds, deposits, all forms of negotiable instruments to the value of $2.7 billion and pay all standing credits to the Shell companies up to the value into an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the court.”
The Court Registrar is to “hold the funds in trust” pending the hearing of the motion and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction filed before it by AITEO.