The Akwa-Ibom State government has described the reported acquisition of Exxon Mobil by Mobil Seplat as pure executive interference with the judicial process.
News Band yesterday reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has consented to the acquisition of Exxon Mobil shares in the United States of America by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement said his principal consented in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, and in consonance with the country’s drive for Foreign Direct Investment in the energy sector.
Meanwhile, Uko Essien, the attorney general and commissioner for Justice of Akwa-Ibom State in a statement, has accused the federal government of interfering with the judicial process.
According to Uko, the proposed transaction is subject to restraining orders of injunction of the High Court of Akwa Ibom State, sitting in Uyo the state capital.
He also stressed that, both Exxonmobil, Seplat Energy, NNPC Ltd and the Federal Government have factual knowledge of the court orders, having been duly served with the orders.
Uko however, noted that investor who acquires the assets of Exxon Mobil without factoring the subsistence of the said orders does so at their own risk.
The statement reads, “Our attention has been drawn to a publication by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), to the effect that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources has consented to the acquisition of shallow water assets of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited by Seplat Energy.
“This is to inform the general public that this proposed transaction is subject to restraining orders of injunction of the High Court of Akwa Ibom State, sitting in Uyo in Suits No. HEK/56/2018, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF AKWA IBOM STATE V. MOBIL PRODUCING NIGERIA UNLIMITED and HU/209/2020, MOBIL PRODUCING NIGERIA UNLIMITED V. GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE & 3 OTHERS. Exxonmobil, Seplat Energy, NNPC Ltd and the Federal Government of Nigeria, all have actual knowledge of the court orders, having been duly served with the orders and/or various newspaper publications of same.
“This executive interference with the judicial process of a court of competent jurisdiction is sad and ill-advised, and is contemptuous of the High Court of Akwa Ibom State. The State urges the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission to take the above facts into consideration as it considers its position in this matter.
“TAKE NOTICE THEREFORE that anyone who deals with the shares or assets of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited during the subsistence of the said orders and in the pendency of the above suits does so at their own risk. Let the buyer beware.”