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Court rules on DPR’s power to regulate oil firms’ sack of workers

Justice Nicholas Oweibo of a Federal High Court in Lagos will on December 10, rule on the legality of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) regulating how oil and gas firms can disengage their workers.
The judge set the case down for judgement after parties adopted their respective processes.
The suit was filed by an oil and gas lawyer, Temilolu Adamolekun, against the Minister of Petroleum, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Attorney-General of the Federation as first to third defendants/respondents.
Adamolekun told the court that that the Petroleum Minister made Regulations 15A Petroleum (Drilling and Production) (Amendment) Regulations 1988 to the effect that holders of oil mining lease, license or permit must seek his approval to remove any worker from his employment and seeks to enforce the regulation through the Guidelines for the release of staff in the Nigerian oil and gas industry 2019, published by the DPR.
Adamolekun in adopting his process prayed the court to quash the regulation on the ground that it contravened the provisions of national assembly enactments on employees and employers dispute which is the sole responsibility of National Industrial Court.
But the lawyer representing the Minister of Petroleum Resources and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Adebayo Ologe, in opposing Adamolekun’s request filed a preliminary objection.
In it, he prayed the court to strike out the suit for lack/want of jurisdiction, lack of locus standi to sue and/or lack of reasonable cause of action
In his statement of claims, Adamolekun had contended that the regulations and guidelines being subsidiary laws and procedural rules have clearly gone outside the relevant subsidiary law, which is the Petroleum Act, 2004.

 

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