Leave Nigeria now,Group tells SPDC

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The Centre for Social Justice Equity and Transparency,CESJET have urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency evacuate Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC and its subsidiaries from Nigeria in the interest of Nigeria’s oil economy. 

CESJET Legal Adviser,Edward Omaga who spoke with newsmen in Abuja urged the Ministry of Justice and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to take appropriate steps to arrest all the Top Executives of SPDC and compel them to refund all oil revenues illegally stolen or diverted from Aiteo Group of Companies and the Nigerian Government between 2015 till date before the company and its subsidiaries are fully evacuated;

He said all pending, ongoing and or future contracts between Nigeria LNG Limited and Royal Dutch Shell acting through SPDC or other subsidiaries be cancelled and fresh bids opened for all qualified indigenous companies to apply for contracts with Nigeria LNG Limited; and 

He said,”The unnecessary discrimination against indigenous companies in the lifting of LNG to favour their foreign counterparts like SPDC must stop. 

“In the event that our demands are not met, we shall lead a Mass Rally to the Headquarters of Shell in Nigeria as well as Offices of the Honourable Minister of Justice and DPR. This of course will not foreclose our resolve to sustain this struggle by engaging the media and appropriate courts of law to further ventilate our grievances. For us, it is no retreat and no surrender until justice is attained.

Thank you all for coming and remain blessed! 

Signed:

“The Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) bring warm greetings to Fellow Compatriots, Gentlemen of the Press and Members of sister Civil Society Organizations here present. About a fortnight ago, specifically on Thursday, 11th March, 2021 we invited you to hear our voice concerning some of the major happenings within the oil and gas sector of Nigerian economy. As the age long saying goes, whenever you know the truth it shall set you free. In our quest for the truth we have gone deeper to unveil that all the facts we relied upon about pending criminal allegations against the Chairman, Aiteo Group of Companies, Mr. Benedict Peters were false. 

“It has become clear that these facts were circulated in the media by Shell Petroleum Development Company (simply called “SPDC” or “Shell”), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell as part of the smear campaign against Aiteo Group of Companies and even the Nigerian Government. We have confirmed that Shell is hell bent on diverting attention of Nigerians from the over 16 Million Barrels of crude oil valued at about $1.3 Billion which it allegedly stole from Aiteo through the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) and Bonny Light Terminal since 2015. Hence, our gathering here again today is important so that we set the records straight and stop members of the public from being continuously deceived about the real issues in controversy between Aiteo and SPDC. 

“Our recent investigation shows that problem started when Aiteo secured an Interim Mareva Injunction on 25th January, 2021 against SPDC and some of its subsidiaries before the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos. Honourable Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo who presided over the suit filed by Kemi Phinero SAN on behalf of Aiteo directed 20 Nigerian Banks to freeze cash, bonds and various other instruments belonging to the Anglo-Dutch company to a value of about $2.7 Billion covering damages likely to have been suffered by Aiteo Eastern E&P on account of the 16 Million Barrels of crude oil allegedly diverted by Shell. All efforts by lawyers engaged by Shell to get the freezing order vacated have proved abortive as same continues to subsist as at 9th March, 2021 when the suit came up last for hearing. In her ruling, the Presiding Judge held that the Exparte Order subsists pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice filed by Aiteo. She however summoned three Secretaries and Chief Financial Officers of the Banks to appear in court on the next adjourned date being 29th March, 2021 for allegedly disobeying the order made on 25th January, 2021. It is apparent that failure of those Bank Officials to appear and purge themselves of contempt would result in a Warrant of Arrest being issued against them.

“In another development, SPDC was said to have misled Aiteo during the process leading to the sale of OML 29 and a pipeline. Before the year 2015, Shell had owned 30% stake in OML 29 and the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL). The company sold its stake to Aiteo in March, 2015 for around $1.7 Billion. Total SE and Eni SpA also sold out at the same time, giving Aiteo a stake of 45%. Available records show that under the 2014 deal, Shell continued to handle sales of the crude oil produced from OML 29 by running the oil through NCTL to Bonny Light Terminal. In that process, various quantities of crude oil leaked away from the pipeline, which was in a degraded state as at the time of purchase, while some were outrightly diverted by Shell. Rather than installing a Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) to avert these losses, Shell had opted for Coriolis Flow Meter. The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) found this practice inappropriate and slammed a penalty against Shell, saying that the density measurements were not acceptable in modern oil industry”he said