Kick Out Corruption Initiative (KOCI), a civil society organisation has accused the Managing Director of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Mr Tony Attah and very senior staff of the organisation of denying indigenous companies of oil filed licences.
According to KOCI, Mr Attah and others contravenes the provisions of Section 3 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act No. 2 of 2010.
According to Chief Isaac Ikpa, Director of Publicity of KOCI, the said Section 3 makes it compulsory for NLNG and its leadership to give Nigerian independent operators first consideration in the award of oil blocks, oil field licenses, oil and gas lifting licenses and in all projects for which contract is to be awarded in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Others accused of contravening the provision of the Act are Mr. Tony Attah acting in connivance with Mr. Ufuoma Otomewo (General Manager Commercial) and Mr. Patrick Olinma (Former General Manager Commercial and Current Director NLNG).
They were said to have considered foreign companies for Sales and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) contract with Gunvor Group Ltd, Trafigura Group Ltd, Royal Dutch Shell, Vitol SA, Totsa, Glencore Plc and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited amongst other multinational companies for purposes of lifting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in Nigeria ahead of indigenous company.
Chief Ikpa said already, a suit has been instituted at a Federal High Court in Abuja, by Global Private Investigators Ltd based in the United Kingdom and Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN) an indigenous anti-corruption cum justice sector civil society organization on 30th March, 2021 seeking various reliefs against NLNG and three other defendants.
Defendants in the suit are Nigeria LNG Limited, Mr Tony Attah, (Managing Director, Nigeria LNG Limited, Mr. Ufuoma Otomewo (General Manager Commercial), Mr Patrick Olinma (Former General Manager Commercial And Current Director NLNG
Chief Ikpa said in the suit, the plaintiffs are seeking the implementation of Section 3 of the Act and N5billion damages.
He said, ”From the Originating Summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/412/2021 and obtained by KOCI, it is clear that the Plaintiffs want the Honourable Court to, amongst other things, declare that the failure of Mr. Tony Attah being the Managing Director of NLNG to adhere to the provisions of Section 3 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act No. 2 of 2010 amount to abdication of his duty. The suit also seeks to restrain the Defendants from entering into new contracts with Gunvor Group Ltd, Trafigura Group Ltd, Royal Dutch Shell, Vitol SA, Totsa, Glencore Plc and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited for the lifting of LNG in Nigeria considering their prosecution, conviction and acceptance of various criminal activities in the United States of America and other countries where they operated before moving into Nigeria.
”The Plaintiffs are equally urging the Honourable Court to direct the Defendants to enforce Section 3 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act No. 2 of 2010, so that all qualified Nigerian independent operators can participate and bid for contracts relating to the lifting of LNG. The sum of N5,000,000,000 (Five Billion Naira) is particularly claimed against NLNG and Mr. Tony Attah as exemplary damages for entering into contracts with the above mentioned multinational companies without first carrying out due diligence to ascertain their criminal records. We can confirm that parties have been served with the Originating Summons and other accompanying processes in the suit which is pending before Honourable Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court No. 6 Abuja and fixed for hearing on 20th July, 2021. KOCI will accordingly mobilize its members across Nigeria to attend the court sitting in solidarity with the Plaintiffs and we beg the Media Practitioners here present to join us.”