Justice Joe Egwu of the Delta State High Court sitting at Orerokpe, in suit number HOR/9/2023, on Wednesday , October 18, 2023, issued an Order of interlocutory injunction restraining Opeans Nigeria Limited from continuing to conduct the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET), other similar trainings, and issuing such certificates.
The court also ordered the closure of the training centers owned or operated by the company.
The defendants in the suit include Opeans Nigeria Limited, American Petroleum Institute (API), Veriforce Limited Liability Company, and the Attorney-General of Delta State.
Opeans Nigeria Limited and the other defendants are facing legal action due to allegations of issuing counterfeit API and Veriforce BOSIET certificates that have not been approved by the respective institutes. Despite lacking any formal accreditation, Opeans Nigeria Limited has been falsely asserting that their training programs and certificates are accredited by API and Veriforce.
API, a renowned authority in the oil and gas sector, has firmly refuted any approval or accreditation granted to Opeans Nigeria Limited for conducting the BOSIET certification and issuing related certificates. This denial further bolsters the allegations against the company and exposes the misleading claims made by Opeans Nigeria Limited about their affiliation with API.
API’s legal team, from the law firm Banwo & Ighodalo, has explicitly stated that Opeans Nigeria Limited is in no way affiliated with API. Moreover, the BOSIET certificates being issued by Opeans Nigeria Limited are neither approved nor accredited by the Institute, that any claim by Opeans Nigeria Limited that it has API certification is false, forgery, and misrepresentative.
BOSIET is a mandatory requirement for personnel working offshore of the Oil and Gas Industry. Ensuring the safety and proficiency of individuals operating in offshore environments within the Oil and Gas industry is heavily reliant on the BOSIET certification. The fraudulent issuance of these certificates not only undermines the credibility of the certification process but also presents a grave risk to the well-being of workers and the industry at large.
Counsel to the plaintiff, while speaking to journalists after the court’s ruling said that, it is crucial for individuals who have been issued API or Veriforce certificates by Opeans Nigeria Limited to understand their rights and consider pursuing legal action against the company for fraud and damages. The certificates and training conducted by Opeans Nigeria Limited were not approved or accredited by API or Veriforce, making them invalid and potentially endangering the lives of those who rely on them.
He further stated that, “the court’s decision to grant the interlocutory injunction, which prohibits the company from conducting the BOSIET certification and requires the closure of its training centers, is a significant move in tackling the issue and preserving the credibility of the certification process. This decision serves as a clear indication that the court will not tolerate fraudulent practices and is dedicated to upholding the utmost standards of safety and professionalism within the country”.