The Court of Appeal in Lagos yesterday upheld a preliminary objection by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) Limited and dismissed an appeal filed by Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, which challenged an earlier decision of the Federal High Court to continue a substantive suit over the blockade of NLNG's jetty in Bonny, from where the company exports cargoes of liquefied natural gas and allied products.
In a lead judgment delivered by Hon. Justice Rita Nosakhare Pemu, which the other justices concurred, the court ruled that the notice of appeal filed by Global West was "incompetent" as contended by NLNG, having been filed without leave either of the Federal High Court or the Court of Appeal.
The ruling affirmed a previous one by the Federal High Court in Lagos dismissing Global West's notice of preliminary objection against a substantive suit by NLNG on the grounds that Global West was a proper party to the suit.
In line with the refusal by the Federal High Court, Global West then proceeded to the Supreme Court to set aside the decision and start proceedings at the lower court pending on the determination of the appeal.
NLNG in 2013 filed a case at the Federal High Court against the Attorney General of the Federation and Global West, seeking a judicial determination on, the legality of certain levies sought to be imposed on NLNG by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), an agency of the federal government and the blockade of NLNG vessels by NIMASA and Global West as a result of the dispute.