A Federal High Court in Lagos was on Monday forced to adjourn continuation of hearing until November 15 in a suit filed by the federal government against Shell Western Supply and Trading Ltd over alleged crude oil shipment worth $406.8 million.
The suit, filed by the federal government’s counsel, Fabian Ajogwu, has Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd and its subsidiary — Shell Western Supply & Trading Ltd as defendants.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that continuation of trial was stalled on Monday following the absence of the judge, Mojisola Olatoregun, who was said to be attending a conference in Abuja.
Similarly, a similar case before the same court involving the federal government and Agip, a subsidiary of oil giant Eni, which was also scheduled for Monday, was also fixed for November15 for hearing.
The plaintiff is claiming the sum of $406.8 million from the defendants, representing the shortfall of money paid into the federal government’s account with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The money is for crude oil lifted in 2013 and 2014.
In a supporting affidavit, the federal government had accused the Anglo-Dutch company of not declaring or under declaring crude oil shipments during the period.
It said it was discovered following a forensic analysis of bills of laden and shipping documents, adding that Shell cheated Nigeria of the revenue.
According to the affidavit, the consortium of experts tracked the global movements of the country’s hydro-carbons, including crude oil and gas.topics from