28 June 2013, Lagos – Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Limited has initiated contempt proceedings before a Federal High Court, Lagos, seeking to commit the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, to prison for “having disobeyed the order of the court made on June 18, 2013,” which amounted to contempt of court.
The court, in Lagos, had granted an ex-parte order, restraining the AGF, NIMASA, Global West Vessel Specialists Nigeria Limited, GWVSNL, and other government agencies from further detaining or preventing the chartered vessels of NLNG from carrying out import and export of gas through the Bonny channel or elsewhere in Nigeria.
Trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, had said the order would subsist pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice by NLNG.
The NLNG is contending it its contempt proceedings, that the interim order granted by the court and the originating processes in the suit were served on the AGF and GWVSNL, which is an agent of NIMASA on June 20, 2013 and June 19, 2013, respectively.
It added that since the court made the order on June 18, 2013, the respondents had caused their agents, privies and other third parties, particularly NIMASA to brazenly disregard and flout the extant interim orders of the court.
The company stated that “On June 21, 2013 at 5pm, about 15 officers and men of the Nigerian Navy in two NIMASA patrol boats accosted the NLNG security patrol team at the NLNG waterfront and ordered that the applicant’s vessel, LNG Imo and a chartered vessel, Torm Thames remain at the NLNG loading bay, while LNG Oyo should remain at the Bonny Channel until further notice.
“The respondents and their agents particularly NIMASA, after becoming aware of the orders of the court made on June 18, 2013, issued a Ship Detention Order dated June 21, 2013 against the applicant’s vessel, LNG Enugu and the said vessel is currently being detained by NIMASA, an agent of the first respondent,” it added.