Supreme court orders Conoil to pay Vitol N13.2bn

Mike Adenuga

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has ordered Conoil Plc to pay Vitol S.A, a British oil firm, N13.2 billion as money owed for lifting cargoes of refined petroleum products.

The case between both parties first started in 2008 and has dragged on for nine years.

Vitol had earlier secured a court judgement in the UK but had been unable to enforce it because Conoil got a stay of execution from a Nigerian court.

According to its 2017 final financial statements, the company resolved to split the debt burden with Synopsis Enterprises Limited, its sister company.

“The commercial dispute which arose in 2008 had…been contested through the high court and the court of appeal but was finally decided by the Supreme Court in the month of December 2017,” the annual report read.

“The board has resolved that the judgement sum of $43,322,497.57 (N13.2 billion) should be shared between the company and Synopsis Enterprises Limited and disbursement be made to the judgment creditor in the ratio of 85% (N11.2 billion) by the Conoil Plc and 15% (N2 billion) by Synopsis Enterprises Limited.

“The reason for this being that Synopsis Enterprises Limited as a sister company to Conoil Plc consummated the transaction on behalf of the company that led to the commercial dispute.”

Conoil is one of the nine oil marketers under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for incurring a debt of about N349 billion from the federal government.

In July 2017, the EFCC said it recovered about N329 billion from the companies who allegedly connived with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiary, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC). (The Cable )

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