Justice T.B. Adegoke of the Federal High Court, Akure, Ondo State has restrained Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited and four others from selling, allocating, vandalising and or disposing off any of their assets/properties, including official structures, oil wells, oil fields, installations, vehicles, equipment, investments, offshore or onshore or any of its properties in any part of Nigeria.....CONTINUE READING
The order will subsist until the hearing and determination of the N3.1 trillion damages suit filed against them by indigenes of Ugbo-Ilaje, Ondo State, and for which they secured a mareva order against the Shell.
Other respondents in the suit are Shell International Company Limited, Shell International Exploration and Production Limited, Attorney General of the Federation and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The restraining order followed an ex parte motion filed and argued by Mohammed Ndarani (SAN) on behalf of the applicants, Prince Afolabi Akinruntan and 1,215 others in the suit marked FHC/AK/CS/68/2023.
After reading the affidavit in support of the motion ex parte deposed to by Akinruntan, the owner of Afolabi & Co. Fishing Enterprises, two attached exhibits and a written address filed on September 1, 2023 at the Registry of the Court, and after hearing Ndarani (SAN), learned counsel to the applicants, the Court ordered the first, second and third respondents to refrain from selling or disposing their assets whether by themselves or through proxies.
The judge declared that the suit shall be given accelerated hearing, adding that it shall be discharged if it is shown that the court has been deceived in making the order.
The applicants, who are members of the indigenous communities in Ondo State had sued the respondents, praying the court to enforce their fundamental rights and the remediation of the environmental hazards and degradations caused by the oil spillage of the first and second respondents’ ruptured pipelines .
During the pendency of the suit, the applicants got wind of the intention of the respondents to sell off their assets and quit business operations in Nigeria and filed the ex parte motion to stop them so as not to render nugatory, academic and unenforceable the judgment of court if the substantial suit goes in their favour.