Justice John Isoho of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on Friday, granted Intels Nigeria Ltd’s application to be joined in a suit filed by Ladol Integrated Logistics Free Zone Enterprise and MCI FZE Yard Development Ltd.
The suit was filed against the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the National Assembly, Federal Ministry of Transport and Attorney General of the Federation and seeks to restrain the passage and assent to the Bill for an Act to amend the oil and gas free zone.
The suit also seeks for an interim injunction restraining the defendants from enforcing the presidential directive that all oil and gas cargoes should be handled at Onne, Warri and Calabar ports, which were designated to handle such cargoes since 2006.
Justice Isoho granted the prayers on the grounds that the issues for determination touched directly on the business and financial interests of the company and it be joined in the same suit and its prayer as applied for by Associated Maritime Services, AMS.
It would be recalled that Ladol and MCI filed originating summons and vide a Motion Ex-parte brought before Justice Isoho and obtained an order of interim injunction on May 12.
The order not only restrained the passage of the Bill for an Act to amend the Oil and Gas Free Zone, it stopped the defendants from enforcing a presidential directive that all oil and gas cargoes be handled at Onne, Warri and Calabar ports.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan in April, issued a directive that all oil and gas cargos should be handled at designated terminals just as the National Assembly forwarded the bill to amend the Oil and Gas Free Zone Act to the president for assent.
The two efforts irked some stakeholders in the maritime industry who saw the move as a design to put them out of business and to create an empire for a few stakeholders.
In reaction to the presidential directive, the maritime sector stakeholders have been up in arms kicking against the regulation.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, the Nigeria Ports Authority and other government agencies have argued that concessions made in the bill were because of the risk of allowing private jetty operators to handle oil and gas cargo, because of the delicate nature of the business.
The legal tussles which have been on for the past seven months will continue as the case has been adjourned to Jan. 6, 2016.


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