A Federal High Court, in Lagos has granted leave to a Nigerian company, Nadabo Energy Limited, to serve court processes on a British company, Trafigura Beheer B.V, out of jurisdiction, and five Nigerian companies alleged to have laundered N24 billion.
In a bid to recover N24billion alleged to have been laundered by a British company, Trafigura Beeher B.V, Nadabo Energy Limited had dragged the London-based company before the court in Lagos
Joined as co-defendants in the legal battle to secure court order to detain barrels of oil belonging to the company, are five Nigerian companies: Mettle Energy and Gas Limited, Renbrant Limited, Jill Engineering and Oil Services Limited, Q&Q Control Services Nigeria limited, General Marine and Oil Services Limited.
In his argument before the court, the plaintiffâ€™s lawyer, Chief Emefo Etudo, told the court that all the parties have been served, therefore, there was need for the order of the court to order all the parties to maintain status quo and an order of the court ordering all parties to be served.
In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa, while adjourning till Friday for further hearing, ordered all court processes to be served on the defendants, while status quo be maintained.
In an affidavit sworn to by the Executive Director of Nadabo Energy company, Reuben Etila, and filed before the court by a Lagos lawyer, Adeola Ojo, he averred that Nadabo Energy company obtained $16million loan from Spring Bank Plc to import petroleum products for onward supply to Mobil, however, Trafigura Beheer B V colluded with some officials of the bank to steal substantial part of the money and the supply cargo now valued at N24 billion from the Nadabo company; the money was received by letters of credit and converted same to multiple businesses, shipping and crude oil lifting and 950,000 barrels of crude oil it is attempting to load this month at Exxonmobil /Esso Terminal ERHA. The crude oil belongs to the plaintiff.
Etila also averred that the said fraud that killed Spring Bank Plc was just discovered this year, and the president of Nigeria had just been petitioned for swift action. â€œIt is necessary not to allow Trafigura Beheer B V to take all her properties (crude oil ) out of the jurisdiction so that any judgement given by the court will not been in vain.â€
The plaintiffs added that Spring Bank died as a result of the alleged fraud, and the Nadabo company was blacklisted from securing further loan from any Nigerian bank until it pays the money back. Heritage Bank acquired Enterprise Bank which acquired Spring Bank Plc. Heritage Bank Plc sued the company.
The deponent alleged further that the stolen assets of the company had been converted into ships and crude oil by Trafigura Beheer B.V and other colluding parties, and the plaintiff in this legal action is claiming title to the said laundered assets as notice of discovery was also given to the respondents this year. The foreign company, upon receipt of the said notice, decided to quickly move her known assets that are within the jurisdiction of this court out and vanished to Europe.
Meanwhile, Nadabo Energy Limited Company has filed an undertaking as to damages with the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court, and therein depose that it would indemnify the defendants or whosoever of any damage that may be caused by making the order of injunction if it turned out that the order ought not to have been made.