A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Court stops govt from winding up PHCN

30 October 2015, Lagos – The National Industrial Court, NIC, holding in Abuja, has restrained the Federal Government and 19 others including Distribution Companies, DISCOs, whether by themselves, their agents, proxies or privies, from winding up the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, or liquidating its assets.

PHCN-Workers-protest-3011Specifically, the NIC ordered the respondents, jointly or severally, whether by themselves, their agents, proxies or privies, from winding up PHCN or in any manner whatsoever, from liquidating or dissipating its assets pending the determination of the motion on notice already filed in court.

The court, presided over by Justice M.N. Esowe, on October 27, gave the restraining order while ruling on Ex-parte Application by the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, against the respondents. The defendants are Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN, Liquidator for Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Power, Federal Ministry of Labour & Productivity, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, and Port-Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company.
Others are Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Kano Electricity Distribution Company, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Jos Electricity Distribution Company, Yola Electricity Distribution Company, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, Egbin Electricity Power Plc, Afam Electricity Power Plc, Sapele Electricity Power Plc, Kainji Electricity Power Plant, Ughelli Power Plant, Shiroro Hydro Power Station and Transmission Company of Nig. Plc, TCN.

The court also ordered parties to maintain the peace until the motion on notice before it was heard and determined, noting that “hearing notices are hereby ordered to be issued and served on the respondents and the matter is now adjourned to November 11, 2015 for hearing of the motion on notice before the court.”

In the Ex-parte Application, NUEE had approached the NIC through the Suit no. NICN/ABJ/31/9/2015, seeking an Interim Injunction restraining the Respondents jointly or severally, whether by themselves, their agents, proxies or privies from winding up the PHCN or in any manner, whatsoever, from liquidating or dissipating the assets of the said PHCN, pending the determination of the motion on notice.

While giving the order, the judge declared that “having gone through the 52 paragraphed affidavit deposed to by Enaya Emuveyan of Counsel in the law firm of Sola Iji & Co., Counsel to the claimant/applicants; also having read the contents of exhibit A,B,C and D attached to the affidavit in support of the motion; aving also gone through the 52 paragraphed affidavit of urgency also sworn to by Enaya Emuveyan; the court also carefully read through the written address of counsel in compliance with the rules of this court; and noted, from the facts disclosed that unless and until this application is granted, the “res”of this matter shall not only be destroyed but the refusal to grant this appreciation shall on the long run foist a state of helplessness on this court in the determination of this case after evidence must have been taken and weighed.

“The court therefore is minded to and in fact hereby grants he application of the claimant/applicants in the following terms: This court hereby orders an interim injunction restraining the respondents jointly or severally whether by themselves, their agents, proxies or privies from winding up the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) or in any manner whatsoever, from liquidating or dissipating the assets of the said Power Holding Company of Nigeria pending the determination of the Motion on Notice already filed in court. Both parties in this matter are hereby ordered to maintain the peace until the motion on notice before the court is head and determined. Hearing notices are hereby ordered to be issued and served on the respondents and the matter is now adjourned to 11th November, 2015 for hearing of the motion on notice before the court.”

 

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