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NNPC bags Africa arbitration award, legal excellence representation

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed that its litigation team has won the Leading Case Counsel Team of the 2020 Africa Arbitration Awards after saving Nigeria from billions of dollars in liabilities.

It explained that the award followed the corporation’s legal team’s excellent performance at the 8th Edition of the East African International Arbitration Conference (EAIC) which held recently in Nairobi, Kenya.

The NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, revealed that the conference was aimed at promoting commercial arbitration and showcasing African lawyers and law firms that have performed well in arbitration practice over the years.

Through a statement released to newsmen on Wednesday, Obateru said that the national oil company’s legal team gave a presentation on the challenges and lessons learnt from arbitrations and the successes recorded during the conference which held virtually with participants joining across the African region.

According to him, the NNPC team’s entry for the Leading Case Counsel Team category of the Africa Arbitration award was adjudged the best amongst entries from 100 other institutions across Africa resulting in the award besides the presentation.

Obateru noted that the award reflects commitment of the legal division and staff of the corporation to the transparency, accountability, and performance excellence agenda of the Mallam Mele Kyari-led NNPC management.

“Among the successful arbitration cases showcased by the NNPC Legal Team at the conference were the IPCO (Nigeria) Vs. NNPC in respect of the dispute over the Bonny Export Terminal Project in which $367.5m was saved after 13 years of litigation and ESSO E&P Nigeria Limited Vs. NNPC in respect of the dispute over the interpretation of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) covering Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 209/Oil Mining Lease (OML) 133 in which the enforcement of $2.7bn claim was dismissed.

“Other recent arbitration cases presented at the conference include ESSO & Others Vs. NNPC in respect of alleged breaches in interpretation and implementation of the PSC covering OPL 222/OML 138 with over $380.141m saved and the Atlantic Energy Group vs. NPDC in respect of allegation of wrongful termination of Strategic Alliance Agreements over eight OMLs resulting in the award of $1.6bn in favour of NPDC,” the statement said.

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