High Court Injunction..
According to a High Court Order dated March 2021, Justice S. Taylor slammed a ban on the operations of Leone Oil, after the Plaintiff in an on-going trial against the company asked the court to get the company to give him his stock of petroleum products paid for before the increase in price of petroleum products by the regulatory agency, PRA. This injunction by the High Court was to remain in force until the matter is resolved between the company and the plaintiff in the matter.
However, on Friday 12th March 2021, during sitting of the court, the company informed the judge that it has a consignment of fuel on the high seas on its way to the country and the injunction on their operations will hamper their business. They agreed to compensate the plaintiff on the grounds that if the result of the trial is against them, they will pay cost and damages.
According to the summons served by the plaintiff, Jaffer Zeghir of 368 Bai Bureh Road in Freetown, on the Defendants; Managing Director Leon Oil Company and also the Leon Oil Company, states that the there is a binding contract between the company and him in respect of the supply of petroleum fuel, of which a consideration of Le1,1,296,400.00 (One billion two hundred and ninety-six million, Four hundred thousand Leones was paid for the supply of two hundred thousand litres of assorted fuel, after which transaction he was issued a receipt and delivery note in anticipation of collecting same from the defendants.
However the summons further states that the Defendants later refused to give him the fuel products and demanded that he pay an additional sum, as the prices of fuel had been increased. The Plaintiff further stated in the summons that the delay in collecting the product was due to the inter-district lockdown imposed by the government in response to the rising figures of COVID-19 in the country and that his tankers were grounded at check points awaiting a pass and COVID-19 test before they will be allowed to come into the city. He was only able to get transportation after the ban was lifted. He also called for compensation for the cost of the action and his inability to do business with the products already paid for and receipts of same in his possession.
However, whilst in Court on Friday, frantic efforts were being made by the company to get the injunction lifted, including some alleged arm twisting, but up to the time of going to press, the injunction was still in place.
Meanwhile, the lawyer for the Plaintiff, Jacob Campbell, is poised to produce evidence to get the Court to Order the Defendant to adhere to the apparent contract between them and the plaintiff.