Arco vs. AGIP: Distraction, Annoying Petitions Force Court to Defer Judgment

By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Friday deferred its judgment on a matter filed by an indigenous oil servicing firm, Arco Group Plc, against the Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC) and other cases listed for judgment because of “distractions and annoying petitions”.
Arco had, in suit number FH/PH/CS/02/2015, dragged Agip, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Conoco Philips Petroleum Nigeria Limited and the Nigeria Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) before the court.
It wants the court to determine whether or not, in view of the provision of section 3 subsections (2) and (3) of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010, having demonstrated ownership of equipment, Nigerian personnel and capacity to execute the task of performing the contract for the maintenance service of rotating equipment at the Nigerian Agip Oil Company gas plants at OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale, it is entitled, being a Nigerian company, to the exclusive right to be considered and granted such contract  including any extension of its duration.
Presiding Judge, Justice Abdullah Liman, on June 14 fixed July 22 for ruling on six motions, including jurisdiction, motion on notice and contempt charges over maintenance of status quo as ordered by the court.
But on Friday, Liman said he had hoped to deliver his ruling on the six contentious issues in the Arco case as well as judgments in other matters but that he was not able to write his judgment because of distractions and petitions.
“Even though the court is on vacation, I had hoped to deliver judgment on the listed cases today. However, I am unable to write the judgments because of distractions and annoying petitions.

“Particularly, on the Arco Group case, this morning I have received additional authorities. I will look into the cases and deliver judgment on September 23. All the cases for judgment are hereby adjourned to September 23,” he said.
Further details later