Law News
Addax suit: ‘National interest won’t be compromised’

The Federal Ministry of Justice has said that national interest will not be compromised in a suit filed by Addax Petroleum Development (Nigeria) Limited and Addax Petroleum Exploration (Nigeria) Limited against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and three other government agencies.

The ministry, which stated this in a statement on Wednesday by the Director of Information in the Ministry of Justice, Charles Nwodo, denied that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN, was involved in an alleged deal capable of robbing Nigeria of N549bn.

The ministry faulted a publication, which portrayed Adoke as not being interested in defending Addax against NNPC, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Federal Inland Revenue Services.

It said that the minister was only a nominal party to the aforementioned suit, denying that he was unwilling to defend the action.

It stated, “While the Attorney General of the Federation is not averse to amicable resolution of any disputes where sufficient justification exists for such closure, it is not in his nature to act unilaterally, especially where the Office is a nominal party (as in this case) nor is it in his character to coerce agencies of government to enter into settlements that are likely to compromise national interest or perverse the course of justice.

“The AGF wishes to assure Nigerians that the Addax suit will not be treated differently, no matter the issues involved and regardless of the interests at play.

“It must be stated very clearly that the AGF is only a nominal party in the aforementioned suit. The principal agencies of government concerned with the issues in dispute are the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Department of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

“That no defence of action has been filed till date is because the DPR and FIRS are yet to accede to the request for the relevant information and supporting documents from the Office of the Attorney General, so the insinuation is both baseless and reckless.”

According to the ministry,   any lawyer knowledgeable in the rudiments of legal practice would agree that a counter-affidavit cannot be prepared and filed by the AGF, or anybody for that matter, without such necessary information and documents.

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