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Just within days of preventing a calamitous upset in the Nigerian Mining sector by securing a court victory in what is arguably Nigeria’s biggest mining legal tussle, Paul Usoro & Co (“PUC”) made another profound statement on Friday 14 January 2022 by recording a second tumultuous courtroom win, the echoes of which this time around, reverberated well beyond the shores of Nigeria right up to the offices of international oil giant, Exxon Mobil Corporation, in the United States of America.
In a Suit commenced by a Writ of Summons, Statement of Claim and other accompanying Processes dated 12 May 2017 (“Originating Processes”) and based on a fiat issued to them by the Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State, the Registered Trustees of Mineral Resources Awareness Initiative of Akwa Ibom State and one other instituted Suit No: FHC/UY/CS/67/2017; Registered Trustees Of Mineral Resources Awareness Initiative Of Akwa Ibom State & Anor V. Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited & Anor at the Federal High Court, Uyo Judicial Division against Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (the 1st Defendant or MPNU) and Exxon Mobil Corporation, a foreign corporation resident in the United States of America (the 2nd Defendant or EMC). The 1st Plaintiff, a non-governmental organization claiming to act for the people of Akwa Ibom State was seeking an assortment of declaratory, executory and monetary reliefs, principal amongst which was for an order of Court compelling MPNU to relocate its head office from Lagos State to Akwa Ibom State. The Plaintiffs anchored this interesting relief on a document called the Standard of Business Conduct document published on EMC’s website which the Plaintiffs claim constitutes a contract between them on the one hand and MPNU and EMC on the other. The Plaintiffs assert that by the said standard of Business Conduct issued by the parent company EMC and binding on the subsidiary, MPNU, the said MPNU was obligated to locate its headquarters in Akwa Ibom State as against Lagos State because MPNU’s operations are in Akwa Ibom State.
The Plaintiffs also made a claim for the payment/remittance of accrued tax from 1987 till the date of Judgment for sums running into billions of dollars.
Continue reading “Trailblazing PUC: The Case of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited & Exxon Mobil Corporation v. Registered Trustees of Mineral Resources Awareness Initiative of Akwa Ibom State & Anor.”
Paul Usoro and Co (“PUC”) reaffirmed its place as the foremost commercial litigation firm after successfully representing and securing a remarkable victory for Dangote Industries Limited & Dangote Cement Plc (“Dangote Group”) at the Federal High Court, Benin Judicial Division in a twin decision delivered on 10 January 2022 in the Suit No.: FHC/B/CS/7/2016:BUA INTERNATIONAL LIMITED & ANOR v. HONOURABLE MINISTER OF MINES & STEEL DEVELOPMENT & ORS (“BUA Group Suit”) and Suit No. FHC/B/CS/74/2016 between DANGOTE INDUSTRIES LIMITED & ANOR V BUA INTERNATIONAL LIMITED & ORS (“Dangote Group Suit”). Beyond the recondite issues of law canvassed by our Firm, this precedent-setting decision prevented what would have become a near-catastrophic tsunami in the Nigerian mining industry. Had PUC’s arguments been rejected, the outcome would have been the nullification of all mining leases issued by the Mining Cadastre Office (“MCO”) since 2008 when the agency was created, and this would have thrown the entire mining sector into a turmoil.
The legal tussle started in 2016 following the Suit filed by the BUA Group to challenge the Dangote Group’s right over the Mining Lease No. 2541ML located at the border town between Okpella in Edo State and Okene in Kogi State. The BUA Group also sought to enforce their rights over the Mining Lease Nos. 18912 and 18913 which they claim were granted to them. The Dangote Group counter sued the BUA Group to challenge the latter’s acts of trespass, wrongful and illegal exploitation of the claim over the mining area covered by 2541ML which was historically granted on February 01, 2008 by the Mining Cadastre Office (“MCO”)and the Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development pursuant to the provisions of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 (‘Mining Act) to Ado Ibrahim & Company Limited (“AICO”) and subsequently transferred to the Dangote Group in 2014. Continue reading “PUC Records Another Remarkable Victory at The Federal High Court for Dangote Group”
Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year from all of us at Paul Usoro & Co.
Paul Usoro & Co was present at the recently concluded (5-6 October 2021) inaugural edition of the The Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) as a Platinum Sponsor.
Our Managing Partner, Mfon Ekong Usoro, was present as the Session Chair for the Opening Keynote Session – “Becoming a Significant Maritime Nation.” She also serves as the chairman of the Board of Governance at NIMS.
The event was very enlightening and featured engaging sessions that drew local and international professionals from the private and public sectors. Attendance was a combination of physical and virtual.
Following several entries and a rigorous screening exercise, two winners emerged emerged from the 2021 edition of the ‘PUC Challenge’ organized by our prestigious Law Firm.
This year’s edition centered on essay entries on the Court of Appeal decision in James v Governor of Edo State (2021) LPELR – 54203 (CA) which borders on the pronouncement that executive declarations on restriction of movements must be made pursuant to a written law before it can be effective or have legal sanctions. The exercise is an initiative to encourage young lawyers to acquaint themselves with our judicial system and to test their legal skills.
The lucky winners were selected after entries received were evaluated by a panel of independent judges comprising of 3 learned Silks; Mr Adeniyi Adegbonmire, SAN; Mr. Olumide Aju, SAN & Mr. Bode Olanipekun, SAN.
The first prize winner is Sylvester Isaac Agih, a lawyer who works with a Non-Governmental Organization with passion for rendering pro bono services. Sylvester received a cash prize of N150,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) while Adeyemi Ayeku, the First runner up who works with a Law Firm in Lagos, received the sum of N50,000.00 (Fifty Thousand Naira).
In order to further encourage these young brilliant minds, on Wednesday, 29 September 2021, our Senior Partner, Paul Usoro, SAN prior to the presentation of the cash awards to the winners had impactful discussions with them on their essays and their future ambitions.
We at PUC wish them the best in their future endeavours.
On Monday, 28 June 2021, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honorable (Dr.) Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, CFR presided over the swearing-in of 18 new Justices of the Court of Appeal. Continue reading “PUC’s Victory for the National Judicial Council at the Federal High Court paved the way for the swearing-in of 18 new Justices of the Court of Appeal”
After nine grueling years and after one of the most keenly contested legal tussles in the history of our legal jurisprudence that took the disputants up to our apex Court, the Supreme Court, Continue reading “PUC’S Victory for Exxon Mobil Corporation, USA at the Nigerian Federal High Court”
Barely 4 days after PUC celebrated its success in a popular oil spill case in Nigeria, PUC recorded another success today in a Suit of national interest filed at the Federal High Court, Continue reading “Summary of Judgment in: FHC/ABJ/CS/347/2021: Incorporated Trustees of Alaigbo Development Foundation v. National Judicial Council & 4 Others”
The Law Firm of Paul Usoro and Co (PUC), today, 21 June 2021 successfully defended a Suit brought by HRH Obong Continue reading “Summary of Judgment in: SUIT NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/54/2012: ARCHIANGA & ORS v. NNPC & 2 ORS”