Criminal Summons: Court Orders Substituted Service On Shell, Others

March 4, 2021
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By Kunle Olasanmi, Abuja

An Upper Area Court siting in Zuba, Abuja, has issued an order for substituted Service of criminal summons on seven top executives of Shell Petroleum development Company Limited.

The order was made following the inability of the court Bailiff to serve them with criminal summons.

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The order was follows an application by counsel to the complainant, Mr Chibuzor Ezike, that while the Bailiff of the court had effectively served the company, the 1st defendant in the matter, the other seven defendants who are all top Executives of Shell were nowhere to be found to be served personally.

The counsel said the application for substituted service was made to the court under Section 124 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

The complainant, African Initiative Against Abuse of Public Trust had alleged that by the use of an unapproved metering system, Shell had wrongfully converted and unlawfully appropriated over 16 million barrels of Crude oil belonging to some Indigenous Oil Companies.

The complainant is seeking imprisonment of the officials of the company for acts of conspiracy, theft and cheating.

The offences jointly carry a maximum of over ten years in prison if convicted.

The court had last week issued a criminal summons against the officials of Shell and scheduled hearing for yesterday but the Shell Executives did not appear in court.

Speaking to journalists after the sitting, Counsel to the Complainant Chibuzor Ezike said, if by the 23rd of March, 2021, the next adjourned date, Shell Executives do not appear after the pasting of the summons at their office, he would have no other options but to apply for a bench warrant against the defendants, so that the police can arrest them and bring them to court.

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