Supreme Court, lawmakers order NNPC to pay N8.14b damages, refund N382.2m

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan has expressed dismay that some officials of government allegedly connived with “criminals” that vandalised oil pipelines.
Lawan spoke at plenary yesterday after the consideration of the report of the Ad hoc Committee on Pipeline Explosions.

He, therefore, directed the Senate Committee on Petroleum (downstream) to invite the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). He also assured that the National Assembly would amend the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Act to prevent the activities of pipeline vandals that lead to explosions and deaths. The Senate also directed the NNPC to refund to the treasury the “outrageous” sum of N382,203,055.74 it claimed to have used in firefighting operations.

Senator Ibikunle Amosun (APC, Ogun) accused the corporation of conniving with vandals to sabotage the economy by encouraging the activities of oil pipeline vandals. “This is not an act of negligence but connivance. The NNPC knows what to do and cannot claim ignorance,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court yesterday upheld its earlier judgment, ordering the NNPC to pay $22.6 million (N8.1billion) in damages to BCE Consulting Engineers over a failed Consultancy Service Contract. The NNPC, through its counsel, had approached the apex court seeking the review of a July 5, 2019 judgment over an alleged error of facts.

Judicial review is a procedure provided under the Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules for the review of extant judgments.

The counsel argued that the court did not hear their preliminary objection and that their cross appeal was dismissed with hearing.

Justice C. C. Nweze however dismissed the appeal, saying: “This apex court cannot be cajoled with this kind of application; it’s an abuse of justice.”He, therefore, awarded the cost of N500,000 to be paid personally by counsel to the NNPC.

Efforts by The Guardian to get reactions from NNPC as at press time were unsuccessful. Calls to Acting Group General Manager Samson Makoji rang out while a text message was not replied to.

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