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Groups sue Shell Petroleum over non-remittance of crude oil sales

...seeks court order to compel AGF, EFCC to investigate Shell

A civil society group, the National Interest Defenders, has instituted a legal action against Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd, over alleged under-declaration and nonremittance of crude oil sales amounting to the tune of N5trn to the federal government.
In a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Wednesday, the non-governmental body, seeks the court  order to compel the Attorney General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate and prosecute Shell over “nonremittance of N5trn worth of crude oil sales revenue.”
The suit, No: FHC/ABJ/C5/1123/2019, seeks a declaration that the act or conduct of Shell in not remitting and under clearing of crude oil exportation and shipment, instigating criminal acts of pipeline vandalism, among other allegations, were inimical to the nation’s economic well being.
The Attorney General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission are 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.
Briefing the press after the filing, co-convener of the group, Anderson Achilike, said the organization was pushed to file the application based on national interest.
Achilike, an environmental activist and legal practitioner, said the money allegedly being short charged the nation by the oil giant, was more than enough to solve the country’s infrastructural deficit.
Achilike said the action was filed “as a matter of urgent national importance to save the dwindling economic fortunes of the country from acts capable of undermining the future of Nigeria”.
Therefore, National Interest Defenders, is praying for “An order directing and compelling the 3rd Defendant as a designated financial intelligence unit in Nigeria, acting with or through the 2nd Defendant and/or other security agencies, to carry out an investigation of the 1st Defendant over cases of non-remittance and under-declaration of crude oil exportation and shipment, third party interference in its trunk line operations, incessant cases of fire outbreak, repeated incidents of sabotage or other suspicious activities or occurrences at its Forcados and Bonny Oil Terminals and Bonga FSPO (floating production, storage and offloading) vessel, which has resulted in loss of revenue, continuous oil theft, monumental shortfall in crude oil production, poor economic revenue, pipeline vandalism, disruption of oil production, destruction of oil installation, economic sabotage etc in Nigeria.
“An order directing and compelling the EFCC to carry out a quantitative investigation of the amount or quantity of crude oil coming into or supplied to and exported from the SHELL‘s Forcados and Bonny Oil Terminals and Bonga FSPO (floating production, storage and offloading) vessel as well as the amount or quantity of crude oil, claimed to have been or supposed to have been, exported from the said terminals from 1st January 2001 to 31st August 2019.
Among other reliefs, the plaintiff wants a declaration that the act or conduct of SHELL in not remitting and under-declaring of crude oil exportation and shipment. instigating criminal acts of pipeline vandalism, oil theft, third party interference in trunk line operations, incessant cases of the outbreak, repeated incidents of sabotage or other suspicious activities or occurrences as well as the coven stealing of Nigeria’s crude oil as a result thereof by the SHE’LL from its Forcados and Bonny Oil Terminals and Bonga FSPO (floating production, storage and offloading) vessel is illegal, unlawful and constitutes economic sabotage and crime against the Nigerian State.
The plaintiff is also praying for “A declaration that the EFCC being a designated financial intelligence unit in Nigeria, acting with or through the AGF and/or other security agencies, has the bounden statutory duty to investigate various acts and/or allegations of commission of economic crimes by SHELL against the Federal Government of Nigeria through its non-remittance and under-declaration of crude oil exportation and shipment, various acts of self-induced oil theft, pipeline vandalism, disruption of oil production, destruction of oil installation, economic sabotage, etc.
The matter has not been assigned to any judge and date yet to be fixed for hearing.
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