Akwa Ibom Govt Warns Seplat over Moves to Acquire Mobil’s Assets

Akwa Ibom State government has once more warned Seplat Energy Plc against the move to acquire the shallow water assets of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU).

In a statement by the state government signed by its Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Uko Essien Udom yesterday, the state pointed out that was a subsisting restraining orders of injunction by the High Court of the state.

It stated: “Our attention has been drawn to a publication by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), to the effect that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources has consented to the acquisition of shallow water assets of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited by Seplat Energy.

“This is to inform the general public that this proposed transaction is subject to restraining orders of injunction of the High Court of Akwa Ibom State, sitting in Uyo in Suits No. HEK/56/2018, , Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State V. Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and HU/209/2020, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited V. Governor of OF Akwa Ibom State & three others.

“Exxonmobil, Seplat Energy, NNPC Ltd and the Federal Government of Nigeria, all have actual knowledge of the court orders, having been duly served with the orders and/or various newspaper publications of same.

“This executive interference with the judicial process of a court of competent jurisdiction is sad and ill-advised, and is contemptuous of the High Court of Akwa Ibom State.

“The State urges the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to take the above facts into consideration as it considers its position in this matter.

“Take notice therefore that anyone who deals with the shares or assets of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited during the subsistence of the said orders and in the pendency of the above suits does so at their own risk. Let the buyer beware.”

The NUPRC had on Monday affirmed that the status quo remains with respect to the ExxonMobil/Seplat Energy share acquisition. It had stressed that in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, it remains the sole regulator in dealing with such matters in the Nigerian upstream sector.

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