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Peto-Gas appeals for Justice after Puma Energy breached a $41million bitumen contract deal

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FRI, SEPTEMBER 29 2017-theG&BJournal-Peto-Gas Ltd ( Peto-Gas), a fully owned Nigerian Company that is into Oil and Gas Consultancy humbly is appealing to all human rights and pressure groups to support its plea for Justice as a result of what it deems as the injustice meted to it by a foreign Company – Trafigura Beheer B.V (Trafigura)- the parent company of Puma Energy Ltd (Puma).

Even the intervention of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation has failed to resolve the lingering dispute between Peto-Gas Limited and Puma Energy  over the  latter’s inability to honour the payment of 10 per cent , which is the  standard contractor fee of  $41 million bitumen transactions to the former.

“After the transaction was successfully consummated, Puma failed and/or neglected to honour its obligation and to continuously avoid its obligation to Peto-Gas, Puma/Trafigura have employed all sorts of Crafty tactics to deny Peto-Gas of Justice,” says Saheed Adelanwa, managing director of Peto-Gas.

According to Peto-Gas, it facilitated a $41 Million Bitumen Joint Venture deal between Puma and Wabeco Petroleum Limited (Wabeco) on terms and understanding that Peto-Gas would be entitled to 10% industry standard Brokerage Fee in respect thereof.

This he said made the company to first petition the Senate Committee on Downstream Petroleum,  and when nothing was achieved, Peto-Gas  decided to appeal to the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice of Nigeria (HAGF) to also seek redress.

In furtherance of this,  he said, a Mediation meeting  was held on 7th July 2017 at the instance of HAGF, the meeting Presided by the Honourable Solicitor General the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice of Nigeria (SGF/PS), and was duly attended by Peto-Gas and its Counsel (Bode Olanipekun, Esq of Wole Olanipekun & Co.),  Victor Umar, Company Secretary of Puma and its Counsel, and the Director and Deputy Director from the Citizens’ Rights Department of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

In response, Victor Umar was also alleged to have agreed that Puma would pay Peto-Gas an amount to be communicated no later than 17th July 2017 with a caveat that the payment may be less than the 10% being demanded by Peto-Gas.  Victor Umar was said to have consequently sought Peto-Gas’ approval in principle that it was willing to reduce its demand to which Peto-Gas responded in the positive.

Despite getting the concession from Peto –Gas, Puma, by a letter dated 17th July 2017 to the HAGF, reneged on the agreement and stated that “the management of Puma Energy has carefully reviewed the aforesaid suggestions, and is unable to find basis to make any settlement offer of any kind to Peto-Gas.

In response to Peto-Gas Letter of Demand dated 4th August 2016, in a letter dated 14th Sep 2016, Puma was said to have denied ever having anything to do with Peto-Gas! Subsequently, via a letter of reply to Peto-Gas petition dated 31th January 2017 to the HAGF , Puma made a 360 degree turn and stated that all services provided by Peto-Gas has been duly paid for. At another instance, Puma contended that Peto-Gas played no part during over one year of the commercial negotiation and due diligence of the $41m Wabeco J.V Deal.

Puma in a letter dated 31st January 2017 to HAGF denied that the inaugural meeting organised by Peto-Gas between Puma and Wabeco in respect of the Joint Venture was not fruitful. Whereas that meeting was the foundation which ultimately culminated into the $41m J.V Deal in contention.

In the same letter dated 31st January 2017 to HAGF, Puma was alleged to have stated that the contract in issue was a private arrangement between the  managing  director of Peto-Gas and one Steve Carty who was merely known to Puma. Whereas available documentation from the Corporate Affairs Commission revealed that  Carty was a director of Puma between 2004 and 2011 and was indeed Puma’s local boss with sufficient authority to bind Puma in the instant transaction.

However Puma  Energy in a letter dated July 17, 2017 and signed by one  victor Umar  and addressed  to the   honourable  minister  of Justice  and Attorney  General   of  the  Federation  stated  that the management of Puma Energy  has  carefully reviewed  the aforesaid  suggestions and is unable to find any basis to make settlement offer of any kind to Peto-Gas.

“Puma Energy further reiterated the position in its earlier letter of 31 January 2017, to the honourable  minister  that it is not obliged to make any payment to Peto-Gas as claimed, Pet-Gas  not played any role in the  Puma Energy –Wabeco transaction to entitle it or any of its employees to the payment of 10 per cent of facilitation fee or any other fee in respect thereof”

Adelanwa told theG&BJournal that Puma has consistently boasted that it would not honour its obligation to Peto-Gas and also threatened to exploit the weaknesses in the relevant Nigerian institutions to frustrate any case that Peto-Gas may institute in respect of same.

“Hence this appeal to all men and women of goodwill, and relevant regulatory agencies in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry to come to the rescue of Peto-Gas and to ensure that Puma does not cheat Peto-Gas nor deny it of its due entitlements.”