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FG appeals verdict on Korean oil blocs

By  Ise-Oluwa Ige
The Federal Government has rejected the August 10, 2009 verdict handed down by the immediate past Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdullahi Mustapha, which annulled the revocation by the government of two oil prospecting licences granted to a South Korean consortium in respect of oil blocs 321 and 323,  four years ago.

The government, which asked the Abuja Court of Appeal to reverse the decision, said the judgment was against the weight of evidence provided to the court.

In a notice of appeal filed at the registry of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, the government gave 12 reasons why the judgment must not stand.

The government has already gone before the Abuja Federal High Court which delivered the judgment to issue an order staying execution of the judgment on the ground that the verdict was a nullity and unreliable.

Although the high court was supposed to examine the merits of arguments on the application for stay of execution of the judgment yesterday, the new Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Dan Abutu, invited parties into his chambers and adjourned hearing in the case till October 23.

Meanwhile, the chambers of Robert Clarke (SAN) and Tunde Fagbohunlu (SAN) representing the Korean National Oil Corporation (KNOC)  have torn into shreds the application by the Federal Government seeking for stay of execution of the judgment.

Specifically,the two lawyers who procured the judgment being contested at the court of first instance argued that the judgment of Justice Mustapha on the matter was purely declaratory which can neither be enforced nor stayed.

They urged the new Chief Judge to throw the application into the waste bin of paper-weight application.

They also said that they would face the Federal Government at the Court of Appeal over its claim that the judgment handed down by the trial high court was a nullity.


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