The United state District court sitting in New York has delivered judgement in favour of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) against ESSO Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (collectively ESSO).
The statement was issued by, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the NNPC spokesperson on Sunday in Abuja while briefing journalist.
Recall a court hearing held February 1, in a lingering litigation bordering on the dispute between the NNPC and ESSO in relation to the execution of production sharing contract dated May 21st, 1993 covering OPL 209/OML 133.
EES filed and arbitration claim against the Nigerian which turns out in their favour of obtaining an award of 1.799 billion dollars in Oct, 24 2011with annual interests of 4% annually.
NNPC appealed the judgement at the Federal High Court, Abuja, which in May 2012, ordered that the Arbitral Award be set aside.
Despite the decision of the Nigerian Court, ESSO applied to the United States District Court, Southern District of New York for recognition and enforcement of the Arbitral Award.
However, NNPC challenged ESSO’s Application on the ground that there was no Award, which the US Court could enforce as a competent Court of jurisdiction in Nigeria had ruled in favour of the NNPC setting aside the Award.
NNPC also contested that there was no ground legally basis for the US Court to exercise jurisdiction over it as it had no presence in the United States, owned no property and does not conduct its businesses therein.
On the other hand, ESSO posited that NNPC is the alter ego of the Federal Government of Nigeria, owned assets in the USA, including bank accounts and also conducts businesses in the USA.
At the close of the Discovery Procedure, on February 1, Honourable Judge W. H. Pauley ordered NNPC and ESSO to appear at the Court for oral hearing, for parties to canvass their respective positions.
Subsequently, on September 4, the US Court delivered its Judgment by which it upheld the Corporation’s Application to Dismiss ESSO’s Enforcement Application on the ground that a competent Nigerian Court had set aside the underlying Award.