The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has fixed February 5 for hearing in a suit filed by pipeline surveillance contractors against Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, over breach of contract.
The plaintiffs are seeking a damage of N3 billion from Agip for opting out of the contract outside the terms of the contract.
In suit No. FHC/PH/CS/293/2014 filed by pipeline surveillance contractors from Obama area at Okoroma in Bayelsa, they alleged that Agip reneged on a contractual agreement entered on the May, 24, 2014 between them.
The contract was for a retainer ship of surveillance services against oil thieves and pipeline vandals on Agip’s pipeline network within the Obama Operational Area in Okoroma, Bayelsa.
In the writ of summon signed by Nyenye Matthias, representing the contractors and made available to journalists in Yenagoa, the contractors are seeking an order directing Agip to pay them N500million being arrears for services rendered.
The period of the claim was from June 2014 to October, 2014 under the terms of the anti-crude Oil theft Surveillance agreement.
“Also an order directing that the sum of N3 billion damages be awarded against the Defendants for a 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 plaintiff or however interfere with the payment of his lawful service entitlement,” the Writ read in part.
According to the suit, NAOC reportedly breached the valid N500million surveillance contract for the protection of oil pipelines along the creeks within Nembe Local Government Area Bayelsa.
According to the plaintiff, Agip Oil Company reneged from its pre-existing obligations to the plaintiff under the anti-crude oil theft surveillance agreement, after insuring over 70,000 barrel production a day.
Agip suspended the existing surveillance contract following a directive by Bayelsa government mandating oil firms in the state to award security contracts to an outfit owned by the government.