Finally, NLNG agrees to pay NIMASA levies
• As Court dismisses contempt charges
The Nigerian Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited has agreed to pay all levies of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) thus reaching an amicable settlement with the Agency over the tax dispute.
This agreement has also been endorsed by the Federal High Court in Lagos as its consent order.
Trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris gave the verdict after lawyers on both sides told him that their clients had reached an amicable settlement on the dispute.
When the case came up on Friday, NIMASA’s lawyer, Mike Igbokwe (SAN) informed the court about the agreement and asked that the letters be adopted by the court as consent order.
He said: “My Lord, there have been some positive developments in respect of this suit and the applicants which had let to exchange of correspondence and telephone discussions between the plaintiff (NLNG) and the first defendant (Attorney-General) and NIMASA and which were conveyed to the second defendant (Global West) counsel.
“The discussions involved counsel for all parties. I have before me a letter dated 12th July 2013, written to NIMASA by the plaintiff containing the agreement that had been reached between the plaintiff and NIMASA which the Attorney-General and Global West had already been informed about.
“We have agreed that the contents of this letter which NIMASA and the plaintiff intend to start implementing today should form the basis of a consent order to be made by the Honourable Court.”
NLNG’s lawyer, Wale Akoni (SAN) confirmed the agreement and did not raise any objections.
“On the basis of the letter, we urge the court to make a consent order in terms of the letter,” Akoni confirmed. He also withdrew the contempt proceedings against the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN).
The court subsequently struck out the contempt charge, and dismissed those of the other defendants, including the contempt charge against NIMASA, for being defective.
The letters which formed the basis of the judgment were dated July 5 and July 12, 2013.
Ruling, Justice Idris said: “The letters dated July 5, 2013 and July 12, 2013 are hereby made the consent order of this court.”
He adjourned till September 19 for mention.