New York, US – A Nigerian High Court in the South-Eastern state of Akwa I bom, will sit in New York, US, 3 and 4 December to hear evidence of witnesses in a case between a Nigerian businessman and Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN ) .
Nigeria’s Consul-General in New York, Ibrahim Auwalu, who disclosed this here Thursday said the court’s special session would be presided over by Justice Gladys Olotu.
“The court will be sitting here at the Consulate’s conference room to take oral evidence from two defence witnesses,” he told the Pan African News Agency (PANA ) .
He said the witnesses, G.W. Walker and Harry F. Hawkins, who are both octogenarians, are former MPN employees and could not travel to Nigeria to give evidence d u e to their “health conditions.”
“The order is predicated on the duty of the court to resolve all controversies brought before it by parties and the international law concept which regards Nigerian embassies in parts of the world as being on Nigerian soil,” he quoted a letter informing him of the court’s decision.
The consul-general said Nigerians residing in New York, will be allowed to watch the proceedings of the court.
MPN is being sued at the Federal High Court, Uyo, for US$ 39.3 billion for alleged breach of contract and patent violations.
The plaintiffs alleged two retired MPN managers; Messrs G.W. Walker and Harry Wakins, entered into an oral agreement with them which made them (plaintiffs) invent a special anti-corrosive paint.
MPN denied such a contract was ever entered into and it never violated any patents belonging to the plaintiffs.
PANA learnt the suit was filed by Rev. (Dr) C.J.A. Uwemedimo, the Managing Director of Commandclem Nigeria Ltd., who claimed Mobil breached an alleged agreement
to pay him US$ 2 per barrel of crude oil or gas produced by the company.
The payment, Uwemedimo also claimed, was for his allegedly inventing a special anti-corrosive paint for MPN in 1980.
PANA learnt a team of lawyers from both sides are expected to grace the court’s two-day session in the Big Apple.
New York – 29/11/2007