Falana Asks Court to Compel FG to Recover $40bn, N481bn

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Femi Falana

 Davidson Iriekpen

Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to compel President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to recover the sum of $40 billion and N481 billion based on the audit of the extractive industry carried out by the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

In the originating summons,  Falana is asking the court to grant a declaration that by the express provisions of Sections 2 (a), (b) and 3 (f) of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative Act, the 1st defendant is under a legal obligation to recover the unremitted sums of $22.06 billion and N481.75 billion owed the Federal Government of Nigeria by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and other oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria.

 He also asked the court to declare that by the express provisions of Sections 2 (a), (b) and 3 (f) of the NEITI Act, the 1st defendant is under a legal obligation to recover the sum of $28 billion lost in revenues that are due to the Federal Government of Nigeria due to failure to review the terms of the 1993 Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) with International Oil Companies (IOCs), in line with Section 16 (2) of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act, Cap D3, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

Consequently, it asked for an order directing the 1st defendant to recover the unremitted sums of $22.06 billion and N481.75 billion owed the Federal Government of Nigeria by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and other oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria.

 In the affidavit in support of the originating summons, Falana stated that he had confirmed from NEITI that the federal government had failed to recover the outstanding sums of $22.06 billion and N481.75 billion owed by the NNPC and the NPDC and other unremitted payments by some IOCs.

 Falana who attached the audited reports of the NEITI to the supporting affidavit, further stated that “Nigeria is presently losing much needed revenue due to the failure of the federal government to ensure that all payments due to the federation from all extractive industry companies involved in the PSCs, including taxes, royalties, dividends, bonuses, penalties, levies and such like are duly paid to the Federal Government of Nigeria.