A Lagos High Court has restrained Total Nigeria Plc from evicting Automatic Fits and Energy Nigeria Ltd and Segmat Springs Ltd from Total’s Lube Bays assigned to them.

Justice Lateefat Folami said the order would subsist pending hearing and determination of the substantive suit filed against Total by Automatic Fits and Segmat.

The two firms had sought an injunction restraining Total from evicting them.

Automatic Fit with over 400 staff, named Global Most Trusted Quality Automobile Care Services Company last year, claimed that Total threatened to evict it from the Lube Bays assigned to it over 10 years ago.

It alleged the multinational company was out to exploit local content and throw its workers into labour market.

Along with Segmat, the firm approached the court to enforce their rights to the bays.

Lawyers to Automatic Fits and Segmat Springs, Oludare Falana of Nu Stream Solicitors, in a January 25 letter to Total’s Managing Director Imran Barry warned against “clandestine and deliberate activities by your agents to forcefully eject our client, its agents and workers from the lube bays assigned to it across Nigeria pursuant to the Lube Bay Management Agreement dated 1st November, 2016.”

The lawyers added: “Please note that the issue forms the basis of the above mentioned suit. Once a matter is sub-judice as in the instant case, all parties are meant to steer clear of any action that may foist a fait accompli on the Honourable Court without treading the path of due process of the law.

“Take notice that our client and its agents will vehemently resist any attempt by any of your staff, agents, servants and privies to forcefully eject or take over any of the Lube Bays assigned to it.

“In furtherance, it shall not hesitate to arrest and ensure the prosecution of any of your staff, agents, servants and privies that violate the order of the court made on January 25, 2019 or take laws into its hands during the pendency of this matter before the honourable court.”

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