Again, Lagos Court Restrains LADOL from Interference in Samsung’s Operations

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Akinwale Akintunde

Justice Abdul-Fata Lawal of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere has once again delivered a judgment in favour of Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited (SHI) and its subsidiary SHI-MCI FZE against Global Resources Management Limited and Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL).

The court gave this judgment on June 14, 2019 while ruling in Suit No: LD/493CMW/2018 filed by LADOL, seeking to stay execution of an earlier judgment of the court of January 31, 2019, which was also in favour of SHI.

In the earlier judgment, Justice Lawal had restrained LADOL from unlawful interference with Samsung’s use of its fabrication and integration yard in the LADOL Zone or interfering with Samsung’s proprietary rights.

Not satisfied with the January 31, 2019 judgment of the court, LADOL applied for a stay of execution of the court’s verdict.

Justice Lawal however in his judgment of June 14, 2019, dismissed LADOL’s application for stay of execution and still upheld Samsung’s rights under the sub-lease of its fabrication yard at the LADOL free zone.

The court in this latest judgment still upheld Samsung’s right to continue to move in and out of its yard freely with its employees, agents and service providers free from further unlawful interference by LADOL.

According to SHI, the judgment will allow Samsung to continue to provide services vital to the Egina project and Nigerian oil production. The Nigerian treasury will receive substantial revenue from the production and storage of 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day from the Egina oilfield.

“The judgment also signals that Nigeria is a safe place for foreign businesses to invest money and resource safe in the knowledge that their rights will be protected. It is binding on LADOL and prevents it from unlawfully evicting Samsung from the fabrication yard or interfering with Samsung’s proprietary rights under its sub-lease,” the company said.

The Chief Operating Officer of SHIN, Mr. Frank Eijzu, stated that the shipbuilding giant was pleased with the judgment.

“Samsung is pleased that the High Court has once again ruled in its favour and against LADOL. The Judgment prevents LADOL from evicting Samsung from the yard meaning that it shall comply with its legal obligations to provide services to the yard and its Nigerian employees.

“We have always maintained that there were no lawful grounds to terminate the sub-lease agreement. This was part of a co-ordinated campaign by LADOL to unlawfully convert, appropriate and take control of the yard to the detriment of the Nigerian economy. The judgment by the High Court of Lagos grants Samsung possession of its fabrication and integration yard while the validity of the termination of the Sub-lease Agreement is being determined at the London Court of International Arbitration”, Ejizu explained.

SHI dragged LADOL to court for allegedly abusing its monopolistic position and regulatory powers as a free zone manager in clear conflict of interest with its personal business interest.

It was also accused of spreading deliberate and malicious falsehoods designed to unlawfully appropriate and take over Samsung’s fabrication yard.

This culminated in LADOL’s attempt to unlawfully terminate the sub-lease agreement granted in Samsung’s favour and refusing Samsung access to its yard from September 3, 2018 until September 26, 2018.

Samsung originally won the tender for the construction of the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) platform for the exploration of the Egina oilfield 130 kilometres off Nigeria’s coastline.

When fully operational, the platform will boost Nigeria’s oil production capability by 200,000 barrels per day and will make a significant contribution to the Nigerian economy.

The joint venture (SHI-MCI) entered a sub-lease agreement with Global Resources Management Limited (LADOL’s affiliate) in order for SHI-MCI FZE to construct and develop a world class Fabrication and Integration yard and quay wall for the execution of the local content elements of the Egina FPSO Project.

Since its arrival in Nigeria in 2011, SHIN has created more than 6,000 jobs for Nigerians and has offered promotion to managerial positions for its Nigerian employees. It has trained some of Nigeria’s most skilled welders and has established a Technology training Centre. As part of its corporate social responsibility endeavours, it has also worked with Vision Care to provide free-cataract surgery to over 350 patients over the last 3-years. This decision is the right decision for Nigeria.