Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, has written to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, demanding the immediate enforcement of the judgment of the Supreme Court directing the federal government to recover the sum of $62 billion from six International Oil Companies (IOCs) over wrong sharing formula.
Falana in the letter dated October 8, 2021, also threatened legal action against the AGF if he refuses to enforce the said judgment.
He wrote on behalf of his clients Professor Omotoye Olorode and Jaye Gaskia of the People’s Alternative Political Movement (PAPM).
The letter titled: “Request For Compliance with Judgment of The Supreme Court of Nigeria in Suit No SC. 964/2016 Between Akwa Ibom and 2 Ors vs Attorney General of the Federation, is not unconnected to a recent statement credited to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Timipre Sylva, to the extent that it is near impossible for the federal government to recover the said sum from the IOCs.
“The Supreme Court had in a judgment delivered on October 20, 2018, directed the federal government to immediately take steps to recover all revenues lost to oil-exploring and exploiting companies due to wrong profit-sharing formula since August 2003.”
Falana’s client claimed that based on the aforesaid judgment, Malami had “request for the immediate payment of the sum of $62 billion owed by the six International Oil Companies with joint operating agreements with the NNPC.”
The affected companies were: Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Nigeria Agip Oil Company, TotalElf Nigeria and Pan Ocean Oil Company.
But Falana’s client had quoted Sylva as saying, “Well, we have started discussions. Let us consider that as a lost opportunity, the money was not in a cupboard, they have taken it.
“Nobody can bring out that kind of money, I mean we can’t get $62billion. We can maybe get something from them but not $62billion. It’s an opportunity we have lost. We have already started discussions with them but what is clear is that it is a lost opportunity really.”
Based on this they have now instructed Falana to request that Malami uses his good office to ensure that the said sum of $62 billion was recovered from the IOCs and paid into the federation account without any further delay.
“However, if you fail or refuse to accede to the request of our client we shall not hesitate to approach the Federal High Court to seek an order to compel you to comply with the judgment of the Supreme Court in accordance with section 287(1) of the Constitution which provides that the decisions of the Supreme court shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons, and by courts with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the supreme Court.
“As we await your reply to this letter please accept the assurances of our highest esteem and professional regards”, the letter added
Alex Enumah in Abuja