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Bayelsa contractors drag Agip to court

…Seek N3bn damages for alleged breach of surveillance contract

By Samuel Oyadongha

Yenagoa—Pipeline surveillance contractors from Obama, Okoroma in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, have dragged Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, before a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, claiming N3 billion as damages for breach of contract.

The plaintiffs are claiming in the suit that Agip reneged on a contractual agreement entered on May 24, 2014 between parties, by opting out of the contract outside the terms of the contract.

The contract was for a retainership of surveillance services against oil thieves and pipeline vandals on Agip’s pipeline network within the Obama Operational Area in Okoroma, Bayelsa State.

They are asking the court to direct Agip to pay them N500 million being arrears for services rendered, for the period between June 2014 and October 2014, under the terms of the anti-crude oil theft surveillance agreement.

They also want the court to award the sum of N3 billion damages against the defendants for breach of contract and undue interference.

*An order of injunction restraining the defendants by themselves or by their servants or agents, from further interfering or inter-meddling with the lawful commercial transactions or business of the plaintiffs or however interfere with the payment of their lawful service entitlement.

According to the plaintiffs, NAOC reportedly breached the valid N500 million surveillance contract for the protection of oil pipelines along the creeks within Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, as the oil company reneged on its pre-existing obligations to the plaintiffs under the anti-crude oil theft surveillance agreement, after insuring over 70,000 barrel production a day.

They are further contending in the suit that Agip suspended the existing surveillance contract following a directive by Bayelsa State Government mandating oil firms in the state to award security contracts to an outfit owned by the government.


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