Nigeria has sued an oil exploration production company, ALLIED ENERGY PLC, owned by Texas-based billionaire Kase Luqmon Lawal to demand $35.7 million debt.
The suit was filed at a Federal high Court in Lagos by the oil minister, which is President Muhammadu Buhari.
The amount in question was for royalty on oil and gas production, concession rental and gas flaring penalty.
In a statement of claim, assistant director, planning Division of the Department of petroleum resources Efe Bassey, alleged that Allied Energy PLC in receivership, in the course of it’s mainstream business, applied for and was granted an oil mining lease number 120(OML120) and oil mining lease number 121(OML121) for the exploration and production of petroleum oil and gas assets.
Upon the grant of the aforesaid OMLS by minister of petroleum resources, Allied Energy PLC operated the oil blocks covered by OMLS, taking full benefits of the exclusive right to prospect, explore, produce and undertake marketing of crude assets in commercial quantities in the leased areas without let or hindrance whatsoever.
As the operator of the OMLS, the Allied Energy PLC was bound to fulfil counterpart obligations of ensuring prompt remittance of statutorily fixed sum of money representing the royalty on oil and gas production, concession rental and gas flaring penalty due to the Federal Government through the office of the minister of petroleum resources.
However, Allied Energy PLC was alleged to have failed, refused and neglected to make these remittance to the Federal Government.
These include, but not limited to the royalties for oil production from the relevant oil blocks in the sum of $34,662,933.32 and gas flared penalty in the sum of $1,085,331.50 for various years dating back to 2009.
The minister through the Department of petroleum resources for which he has oversight functions at different times, has written to Allied Energy Plc making repeated demands for all the outstanding payments royalty for oil produced from the relevant oil blocks and gas flared penalty for various years dating back to 2009, but the defendant has failed and refused to make any remittance.
The claim was filed before the court by a Lagos Lawyer Barrister Adebayo Ologe.
Now Nigeria is not just demanding $35,748,264.82 being outstanding oil royalties, but also interest on the said sum of $ 35,748,264.82
Nigeria is also asking the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the company either by itself or through it’s agents, receiver of its assets creditors from having access to or dealing with its assets or residual thereof, until the aforesaid sum of USD 35,748,264.82 and accumulated interest thereon have been satisfied or fully discharged.