Appeal court orders retrial of NLNG suit against NIMASA

Appeal court orders retrial of NLNG suit against NIMASA

The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division has set aside a $57 million judgement, which a Federal High Court awarded to Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) against the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Agency (NIMASA).

Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba of the Court of Appeal, in Lagos, on Friday set aside the judgement, saying that the case should be retried before another Federal High Court judge.

NIMASA had on May 3, 2013, sealed off the facilities of the NLNG over alleged non-payment of certain statutory levies to the nation’s apex maritime regulatory with the aid of platforms from its former private security contractor, Global West Vessel Specialist.

“This course of action has been forced on the Agency by the NLNG’s disregard and demonstrated unwillingness to abide by the country’s maritime laws especially, sections of the NIMASA Act that mandates payment of levies based on gross freight on exports and imports and the Cabotage Law. Since its inception, the NLNG has cherry-picked our laws. All efforts to get the management to meet its obligations to Nigeria have been treated with impunity,” NIMASA said in a statement.

The NLNG in June 2013, sort redress at a Federal High Court, Lagos, over disputed levies demanded by NIMASA.

The court ruled on October 3, 2017, that NLNG was not liable to pay three percent gross freight on its international inbound and outbound cargo and sea protection levy amongst other charges, to NIMASA.

The maritime regulatory agency filed an appeal against the judgement of the court.