01 July 2013, Lagos – The Federal Government has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, to vacate the ex-parte order granted against it in the dispute between the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd, NLNG, and Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, over non-payment of statutory levies and charges, which the maritime regulatory agency claims were due to it from NLNG.
It will be recalled that Justice M. Idris had on June 18, in the suit by NLNG against the Attorney General of the Federation and Global West Vessels Specialists, granted an exparte order restraining the defendants from charging, imposing, demanding or collecting the three percent of gross freight earnings or any other sum further to section 15(a) of NIMASA Act 2007 on all of NLNG’s international inbound or outbound cargo ships owned, contracted or subcontracted by it.
Meanwhile, praying the court to vacate the ex-parte order, counsel to the Federal Government, Dr Fabian Ajogwu SAN, argued that the order was essentially made against NIMASA, which was not joined as party in the suit.
He contended that NIMASA being a corporate body with statutory powers to sue and be sued in its own name, its non-inclusion as a party was a violation of the principles of fair hearing, that the other side should be heard; and therefore, fatal to the case of NLNG.
– Innocent Anaba, Vanguard