This has deepened the crisis between the two agencies, which started two months ago.
Two NIMASA boats with 15 naval officers on board, ordered that one NLNG vessel, LNG Imo and one chartered vessel, Torm Thames remain at NLNG’s loading bay whilst another NLNG Vessel, LNG Oyo, remains outside the Bonny channel until further notice.
In May, NIMASA blocked the Bonny Channel, preventing entry and exit of NLNG vessels due to the latter’s refusal to pay levies.
NLNG General Manager, External Relations, Kudo Eresia-Eke, in a statement, confirmed the latest incident.
The statement reads: “NIMASA subsequently issued Ship Detention Orders on 22nd June 2013, specifically detaining three NLNG ships (LNG Enugu, LNG Oyo, LNG Imo) and barring them from accessing or leaving the company’s loading bay.
“These developments are in flagrant disregard for the court injunction issued by the Federal High Court in Lagos in Suit No FHC/L/CS/847/2013 by Honorable Justice M.B. Idris, presiding, on Tuesday 18th June 2013, against the Attorney General of the Federation, Global West, and any other parties including Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency, NIMASA, from imposing any charges or taking any steps to block, detain or prevent access by the company’s owned or chartered vessels, whether inbound or outbound from Bonny channel or elsewhere in Nigeria.”
But NIMASA said it had, in its enforcement of Nigerian laws, served detention notices and orders on vessels belonging to and chartered by NLNG.