19 July 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – A Lagos High Court has ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and three other Federal Government agencies to pay a N3.1 billion judgment debt entered against an oil marketing firm, Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited.
The debt is owed to another firm, Brittania-U Nigeria Limited.
Justice Oludotun Adefope-Okojie, in a ruling, upheld an earlier order against the government agencies, who are in custody of funds belonging to the judgment debtor, Capital Oil and Gas.
The other government agencies affected by the order are the Central Bank of Nigeria, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC, and the Debt Management Office.
By the order, the agencies are to pay over to Brittania-U funds accruing to Capital Oil to offset its judgment debt.
The court discharged the order earlier made against the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board on the ground that there are no claims outstanding in favour of the judgment debtor that has been processed, approved or verified for payment.
The debt resulted from a transaction between Brittania-U and Capital Oil and Gas which saw the oil marketing firm buying two cargoes of 18,000 metric tonnes of Automative Gas Oil or diesel and 30,711.20 metric tonnes of premium motor spirit or petrol from Brittania-U in 2009.
Capital Oil’s bankers, Skye Bank provided an irrevocable bank guarantee covering the value of the transaction, a guarantee the bank failed to honour.
A dissatisfied Brittania went to court, following which the parties settled for a consent judgment in November 28, 2011. By the judgment, Capital Oil agreed to pay the debt to Brittania-U in three instalments, between November 25, 2011 and February, 29, 2012.
Capital Oil was said to have later reneged after paying N1 billion in December, 2011 leaving a balance of N3.1 billion, plus interest.
To enforce the consent judgment endorsed by Justice Adefope-Okojie, Brittania-U went back to the court, and obtained the latest order by the Lagos court on July 13, 2012 against monies accruing to Capital Oil from the four government agencies to be made payable to Brittania-U to offset the debts.