Law News
Contempt: Agip, Plantgeria MDs to face committal proceedings

Managing Directors of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited, NAOCL, Mr. Insula Massimo and P. L. Carrodano of Plantgeria Company Ltd., are to appear before a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to explain why they should not be committed to prison for alleged disobedience to an order of the court.

The duo were alleged to have disobeyed an order of court barring them from awarding Gas Turbines and Rotating Equipment maintenance contract to any company pending the determination of the substantive suit  by  Arco Group Plc.

In a Form 49, ‘notice to show cause why order of attachment should not be made,’ initiated by Arco Group against NAOCL, Plantgeria Company Ltd., and their Managing Directors, respectively, the plaintiff is urging the court to commit the companies and their chief executive officers to prison for alleged disobedience to the order of court.

Arco, which had earlier filed Form 48 ‘notice, that unless the order was obeyed by the defendants they could be committed to prison’, had argued that the defendants have disregarded the order made by trial judge, Justice Lambo Akanbi, which restrained them from awarding the Turbines and Rotating Equipment maintenance contract to any company at Agip’s OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale gas plants, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

Defendants in the main suit are NAOCL, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Conoco Phillips Petroleum Nig. Ltd, and National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NPIMS.

The plaintiff alleged a breach by NAOCL in the award of the contract to Plantgeria Company Ltd.,  contrary to the order of court made on February 3, 2015.

Ruling earlier on the notice of consequences of  disobedience to order of the court by Arco, the court ordered the MDs of NAOCL and Plantgeria to appear last week Monday, but they were absent, though represented by counsel.

At the hearing of the case last Monday, the defendants, who were not personally in court had, through their lawyers, argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the motion brought before it. However, the plaintiff maintained that the order of court earlier made still subsists.

In an affidavit of facts showing disobedience by first defendant of the order of injunction made on February 3, 2015, deposed to by the plaintiff’s team leader in OB/OB Kwale and Ebocha, Pius Onodjohwo, it averred that Agip in alleged defiance of the said court injunction restraining it from awarding contract to any organisation, pending the determination of plaintiffs motion on notice for interlocutory injunction the company went ahead to awarded the contract to Plantgeria Ltd.


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