Court Orders SPDC To Stop the Termination of Contracts To Indigenous Logistics Contractors
A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the state capital, has re-affirmed its order for the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to stop the process of termination of the GSA Logistics Services Contracts handled by indigenous contractors from oil host communities in the Niger Delta region.
According to the court presided over by Justice I.P.C. Igwe, the SPDC is restrained from stopping, truncating, or calling off the bidding process of contract number CW502377 already bided for by indigenous Niger Delta companies, which is for the position of logistic support services for government security agencies in their facilities in the region.
The claimants, in the suit numbered PHC/3578/CS/2022 and filed by Alabo Datelima Membere, and Godknows Ologbolo, on behalf of the Niger Delta Youths for Transparent and Accountability Watchdog, had approached the court seeking an interim injunction restraining the SPDC from the termination of the GSA Logistics Services Contract.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, the NNPC Upstream Investment Services (formerly known as National Petroleum Investment Management Services), the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, and the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited are listed as respondents/defendants.
The order, which was first issued on November 10, 2022, and was re-affirmed on Thursday, April 20, 2023, was based on the application of the claimant’s counsel.
Justice Igwe, after hearing the motion on notice for an interlocutory injunction from the claimants’ counsel, Tonye Wilson, also ordered that an order of interim injunction be issued restraining the 4th defendants, (SPDC) or its privies, servants, or agents from truncating the ongoing provision of logistic support services for government security agencies in facilities belonging to the 4th defendants, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
“That the claimant shall enter into an understanding in damages to be paid in favour of the defendants in the sum of N5,000,000 only should the motion on notice and substantive case be found to be frivolous,” the judge ordered.
The court, however, adjourned the substantive case to June 20, 2023.
It would be recalled that indigenous contractors handling the GSA Logistics Services Contract were locked in a battle with the SPDC over the supply of patrol speedboats and other logistics for the use by security personnel to protect oil facilities in the host communities.
According to the aggrieved contractors, despite the commendable handling of the GSA contract over the years and the benefits to oil host communities through their indigenous contractors, the SPDC is taking the said GSA contract away from the oil host communities in connivance with NIPEX to re-award the contract to non-indigenous contractors who do not know anything about the terrain of the Niger Delta.
They also alleged that some staff in the security department of SPDC and their cohorts in NIPEX are fronting for their kinsmen and surrogates to take over the said GSA Logistics Services Contracts from the indigenous contractors.