Commercial Law

Court orders Shell to pay Amni’s $4.6m debt to court’s account

The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered Shell Western Supply & Trading Limited to pay to the account of Court’s Deputy Chief Registrar the sum of $4.6million Shell keeps for Amni International Petroleum Development Company Limited.

It directed the Deputy Chief Registrar(DCR) to pay the sums admitted by Amni in the sums of: (a) $3,571,637.68 and N271,138,207.57 entered as judgment directly to its creditor, SpringRock Energy Limited in the bank account nominated by them within five days.

This followed applications by SpringRock through its Legal Counsel led by Olumide Aju, SAN and counter arguments by the Defendants’ Counsel Olumide Sofowora, SAN.

Justice Akintayo Aluko made the Order along with others on October 28 in a Judgment in suit: FHC/L/CS/1290/22 filed by SpringRock Energy Limited and SpringRock Energy Limited Mauritius as first and second Plaintiffs/Applicants.

The Defendants/Respondents are Amni and Amni International Petroleum Development Company 52 Limited and five Mareva parties comprising Shell and four banks.

The Court also granted the Plaintiffs/Applicants three other reliefs including an Order entering final judgment against Amni in the sum of $3,571,637.68 and N271,138,207.57 being its admitted indebtedness to SpringRock.

In all, the Court decided three applications – two of them by SpringRock and the third by Amni.

The court refused Amni’s application of August 17, 2022 praying the Court to dismiss the Interim Mareva Order. It awarded costs and ruled in favour of SpringRock.

The Court granted SpringRock’s application of July 5, 2022 seeking a grant of Mareva orders against Amni and all prayers contained in the application.

On the application of SpringRock dated 6th October 2022 praying the Court to enter judgment on the sum already admitted by the Amni in the claim, Justice Aluko granted the application as prayed.

The Court also held that the banks would be discharged from the Mareva Order, only after Shell has fully complied with the Ruling of the Court and that the sum which is the subject matter of the claim to be deposited by Shell on behallf of Amni into an interest-yielding account in the name of the Deputy Court Registrar.

By the Judgment, SpringRock is entitled to the sum admitted by Amni while the outstanding sum in the claim will remain in the Account of the Court pending Amni and SpringRock clarifying and agreeing on the actual disputed invoices that Amni raised

Justice Aluko adjourned till December 12, 2022 for parties to report on the reconciliation exercise to be carried out over the outstanding sum still in dispute.

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