Following the Rivers State government’s takeover of Kidney Island on Wednesday, SPDC CEO and Shell Companies Nigeria Country President Osagie Okunbor dismissed the action as “premature and illegal.”
Okunbor, dismissing “the alleged takeover” of the Kidney Island assets by the Rivers Government, said the state’s rights to the acquisition of those assets remain the subject of ongoing appeals in the Port Harcourt Court of Appeals. .
Okunbor stated: “Any alleged exercise of rights purportedly acquired through that process, including any attempt to seize control or seal the Kidney Island asset or other assets of the SPDC JV to satisfy claims in pending lawsuits, is premature and detrimental to ongoing legal proceedings, and therefore not recognized.
“Under the Nigerian Petroleum Act, any acquisition or assignment of interest in a license or lease would require the consent of the Minister of Petroleum. No such consent has been given in the case of the alleged acquisition by the Rivers State Government.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court ruling on November 27, 2020 did not decide the liability or the size of the award in the underlying lawsuit of Chief Ogbara & Others Vs SPDC nor did the ruling confirm the alleged sale of the assets of SPDC JV to the river State government as claimed by the state.
“Meanwhile, there is a pending litigation by SPDC in which the Federal Supreme Court has issued a provisional order restricting the execution of the underlying Agbara judgment pending the hearing of the motion on the notice set for hearing on 14 of January 2021.
“SPDC, therefore, calls on the Rivers State government and those claiming to have an interest in the SPDC Kidney Island asset to suspend further actions to allow due process of law enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.
“We continue to believe that until pending appeals are heard and determined, any exercise of rights, including any attempt to seize or seal the assets of the SPDC JV by the Rivers State government, is premature and illegal.”