Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
Facts have emerged that some oil and gas free zones firms are seeking judicial intervention in the alleged attempt by Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) to regulate the oil and gas operations within Snake Island Integrated Free Zone (SIIFZ).
They have described the defendant’s plan to assume total control of space as “contemptuous’’.
The Nigerdock Nigeria Plc, Simco Freezone Company and Nigerdock Nigeria Plc-FZE in 2016 dragged OGFZA before the Federal High Court in Lagos seeking judicial intervention of its insistence to regulate oil and gas operations within SIIFZ.
The rest defendants in the suit are the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Mr Qudus Mumumey, counsel to the plaintiff in telephone interview in Abuja said that the last time the suit came up in court was on the February 26.
According to him, the suit is fixed for June 1 for definite hearing before Justice Aneke.
Mumumey also said that all the defendants in the suit were aware of the pendency of the suit having filed their responses and represented in court by counsel.
Mumumey said, “In the light of the foregoing, the current letter from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is contemptuous, abusive, oppressive and a clear attempt to undermine the authority of the honourable court’’.
OGFZA, acting upon an uninformed directive of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, had served letters on all oil and gas free zones including SIIFZ, informing them of its readiness to implement the minister’s directive which empowered the authority to assume full regulatory powers over those zones.
Recall that Nigerdock and others had by an Originating Summons filed at the Federal High Court in 2016 sought judicial intervention in the attempt made by OGFZA to regulate the oil and gas operations within SIIFZ.