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  • 2017-12-15
  • SC. 68/2016
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Yanaty Pet. Ltd v. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

YANATY PETROCHEMICAL LIMITED
V
ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION
SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA


IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD JSC (Presided)
OLUKAYODE ARIWOOLA JSC (Read the Lead Judgment)
JOHN INYANG OKORO JSC
AMINA ADAMU AUGIE JSC
EJEMBI EKO JSC

SC. 68/2016
TUESDAY, 15 DECEMBER 2017

ACTION - Action in personam and action in rem - Distinction
between - Action for breach of contract - Whether may lie in rem
APPEAL - Reply brief - What constitutes - When necessary
ESTOPPEL - Estoppel per rem judicatam - Plea of -
Applicability of - Conditions precedent to - Burden thereof - Who bears
ESTOPPEL - Estoppel per rem judicatam - Previous judgment - When may be relied on

ESTOPPEL - Estoppel per rem judicatam - Who may rely on - Successful plea of - Effect
INJUNCTION - Order of - Court - Power of to grant - Basis on which may be exercised

Issue:
Whether the learned justices of the Court of Appeal were in error in holding that the judgment of Mohammed J. in suit
No: FHC/ABJ/CS/617/2012 does not operate as estoppel per rem judicatam thereby, restricting the cause of action
therein and allowing the respondent to re-open investigation of the appellant in respect of fuel subsidy payments despite
conclusion of investigations by various security agencies.

Facts:
The appellant as plaintiff in the Federal High Court, Abuja, commenced an action vide originating summons, seeking
determination of the following questions: whether in view of the judgment delivered by the Federal High Court, Abuja in Yanaty
Petrochemical Ltd v. P.P.P.R.A, investigation into any allegation of fraud and money laundering with respect to the payment of
fuel subsidy and which investigation with by relevant agencies including the respondent or any other agency has been concluded;
whether the respondent or any other agency can further investigate or re-open investigation into fraud or money laundering arising
from the payment of subsidy to the appellant by the P.P.P.R.A and whether by virtue of the decision referred to, wherein the appellant
was not indicted by the previous investigation by various security agencies set up to investigate the issue of fraud or money
laundering arising out of payment of fuel subsidies granted to the appellant, the respondent is not restrained from conducting any
new or further investigation into the allegation. The appellant prayed the court for declaratory and injunctive reliefs to the
effect that; the investigation on payment of fuel subsidies as related to the appellant is concluded and orders of injunction
restraining the respondent from restricting the appellant and its staff with regards to the above mentioned suit on the basis of
fraud and money laundering. The trial court granted the reliefs sought by the appellant. Dissatisfied, the respondent appealed
to the Court of Appeal, where the appeal was allowed. Aggrieved, the appellant appealed to the Supreme Court contending that the
lower court erred in holding that the decision referred to by the appellant did not constitute estoppel per rem judicatam
restricting the respondent from reopening the investigation of the appellant in respect of fuel subsidy payments.