A Federal High Court in Lagos has declined to stop the Federal Government from demanding that an oil and energy firm, Star Deep Water Petroleum Ltd, explain its role in an alleged missing crude oil revenue scandal.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa dismissed the firm’s preliminary objection against the government’s suit on the ground that it lacked merit.
Star Deep Water Petroleum Ltd is a Chevron Nigeria Ltd subsidiary.
Justice Aikawa, in a ruling on Friday, October 11, 2019, which was obtained by The Nation on Monday, held that there is sufficient cause of action against the firm as claimed by the Federal Government.
He ordered the company to answer the case against it.
The judge adjourned till December 5, 2019 for trial.
This suit is one of several instituted by the Federal Government in 2016 seeking to recover almost $12 billion in missing crude oil revenue from some international oil companies (IOCs).
The government, through its Counsel Prof Fabian Ajogwu SAN, averred that the revenue was lost following undeclared and under-declared crude oil shipments from Nigeria to different parts of the world between 2011 and 2014.
In one of the suits, the government sought to recover $69 million from Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Ltd.
It filed the suit against Chevron Nigeria Ltd, and Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Ltd, as first and second defendants respectively.
It also filed similar suits against Total E&P Nigeria Plc, Agip Oil Company Ltd, Brasoil, Shell Western Supply & Trading Ltd, among others.