July 16, 2024

NNPC withdraws suits against ExxonMobil on $1.28bn asset sales to Seplat

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, has filed a motion to withdraw its legal action against several subsidiaries of Mobil Nigeria as part of the ongoing effort to finalise a settlement agreement on the divestment of $1.28 billion in assets from Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, MPNU, to Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.

The application, which was presented by the company’s legal counsel, Afe Babalola & Co., on June 11, 2024, requests the court grant leave for discontinuance and to strike out the suit, with the provision to relist it should the settlement process fail.

“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 read.

“Granting this application aligns with the policy of this Honourable Court and facilitates the finalization of the settlement process.”

DAILY POST recalls that last month, pressure mounted on NNPCL from President Bola Tinubu, following two high-level visits from ExxonMobil executives to clear the hurdle of the company’s asset sale to indigenous heavyweight Seplat Energy Plc.

Signed by Mele Kyari, NNPCL CEO, and Shane Harris, MPNU Managing Director, the settlement agreement, stated: “MPNU shareholders will consent to Seplat providing the Share Sale and Purchase Agreement to NNPC to finalize their transaction.

“NNPC will withdraw all interim orders and the substantive suit against MPNU and other defendants.

“The parties will jointly discontinue arbitration proceedings upon completion of the transaction. MPNU shareholders and NNPC will align their positions to finalize their respective transactions with Seplat.

“NNPC’s legal team highlighted that the discontinuance aligns with Order 24 of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Civil Procedure Rules 2018 and is crucial for the settlement’s completion. The court’s decision on the motion will be pivotal in resolving the longstanding dispute, enabling the parties to focus on finalizing the divestment.”

Former President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2022, had okayed the acquisition of ExxonMobil’s shares by Seplat.

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