NNPC to withdraw suit on sale of ExxonMobil’s $1.28bn asset - Ripples Nigeria
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NNPC to withdraw suit on sale of ExxonMobil’s $1.28bn asset



The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has filed a motion in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja to discontinue lawsuit against the sale of $1.2 billion assets belonging to Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) to Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.

NNPC’s legal counsel, Afe Babalola & Co., presented the motion marked FCT/HC/BW/173/2022), requesting the court’s permission to withdraw the suit.

The company also requested the permission to strike the suit off the court’s cause list, with a provision to relist it if the settlement process fails.

“The applicant humbly urges Your Lordship to grant leave to discontinue this suit and consequently strike it off the court’s cause list,” the motion states. “Granting this application aligns with the policy of this Honourable Court and facilitates the finalization of the settlement process.”

The NNPC filed the suit challenging ExxonMobil’s deal with Seplat on July 5, 2022.

But the court referred the parties to arbitration on August 3 of same year.

However, the parties recently decided to settle their dispute out of court and arbitration, adding that without prejudice to the rights of the parties, they duly executed a Settlement Agreement.

READ ALSO: NNPC secures court order to stop ExxonMobil from leaving Nigeria

According to the senior lawyer, in the Settlement Agreement, one condition for settling the dispute was that the NNPC would withdraw the suit to enable the parties to finalize the settlement process.

“In line with the agreement between the parties, the Applicant is discontinuing this suit (Suit No: FCT/HC/BW/173/2022) against the Defendants/Respondents.

“Granting this application is the only way through which the suit may be discontinued appropriately and struck out,” he submitted.

In his affidavit in support of the motion, deposed to by Isaika Popoola, a litigation manager at Afe Babalola & Co., he detailed the history of the case, the arbitration process, and the terms of the Settlement Agreement.

Popoola noted that the parties had held several meetings to resolve the dispute concerning the divestment of MPNU shares to Seplat.

The agreement includes clauses to align the interests of all parties involved and finalize the transaction.

By: Babajide Okeowo

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