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Ororo Oil Field: Court Restrains Ondo Govt From Joining Suit Challenging Licence Revocation

Shola Soyele  
Updated November 23, 2020
A file photo of a signpost of the Federal High Court in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State.

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has stopped a move by the Ondo State Government seeking to be joined in a suit challenging the Federal Government’s revocation of the Ororo Marginal Oil Field license.

The state is one of the Shareholders in Owena Oil & Gas Ltd, owners of Ororo field, which was discovered in 1986. It is located within OML 95 in shallow waters offshore Ondo State.

Following the revocation of its license in April, Ondo State through its counsel, Bode Olanipekun (SAN), brought an application seeking to join a suit filed by Owena Oil & Gas.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Guarantee Petroleum Company Ltd were listed as first to third respondents in the suit.

When the application was heard in October, Counsel to Ororo Oil Field, Kemi Pinheiro SAN, argued that the case challenging the license revocation “is totally different” from a shareholders’ case.

He asked the court to dismiss Ondo state’s application.

In his ruling today, Justice Muslim Hassan upheld Pinheiro’s argument and dismissed the application.

The judge held that the state’s action was unnecessary because only a company that has suffered injury can bring an action to redress the same and not its shareholders.

Hassan said: “I have listened to the parties, read all the processes and affidavit in support of an application to be joined. I hold that only a company that suffers wrongdoing can institute an action to redress such an act.

“I, therefore, hold that the motion for joinder brought by the Ondo State government is unmeritorious and ought to be dismissed. Consequently, this application is hereby dismissed.”

Following a request by Counsel to Ororo Oil Field & counsel to DPR, Justice Hassan also awarded them N100,000 each as cost against the Ondo State Government before adjourning further proceedings till January 14.