A Delta State High Court sitting at Orerokpe in Okpe Local Government Area of the state has dismissed a motion seeking to join the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) as a defendant in a suit challenging the authority of Opeans Nigeria Limited to issue American Petroleum Institute (API) and Veriforce BOSIET certificates.
Justice Joe Egwu dismissed the motion, which was brought by Opeans, on the ground that there was no cause of action against NUPRC in the instant case.
Relying on Sections 307 and 308 of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, the court held that NUPRC cannot be sued or joined in a lawsuit without proper pre-action notice being served on the regulatory body.
The court thereafter reserved a ruling for October 18, on the interlocutory injunction, seeking an order to restrain Opeans Nigeria Limited from continuing to conduct the BOSIET certification.
The lawsuit involves Opeans Nigeria Limited, the American Petroleum Institute (API), Veriforce Limited Liability Company, and the Attorney-General of Delta State.
The legal action against Opeans Nigeria Limited and the other defendants stems from allegations of issuing API and Veriforce BOSIET certificates without the approval of the respective institutes.
However, API, a leading authority in the oil and gas industry, categorically denied granting any approval or accreditation to Opeans Nigeria Limited for conducting the BOSIET certification and issuing such certificates.
BOSIET certification is of utmost importance in ensuring the safety and competence of individuals working in offshore environments of the oil and gas industry.
Issuance of these certificates without approval not only undermines the credibility of the certification process but also poses a significant risk to the safety of workers and the industry as a whole.
The latest ruling by Justice Joe Egwu highlights the complexities of the legal dispute and the importance of following proper legal procedures.
As the case continues, both sides will present their arguments and evidence to support their claims.