Home » Nigerian energy tycoon Michael J. Prest wins legal victory in Caribbean island of Nevis

Nigerian energy tycoon Michael J. Prest wins legal victory in Caribbean island of Nevis

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Michael J. Prest

Michael J. Prest, the Nigerian energy tycoon and founder of Petrodel Resources, has won a significant legal victory on the Caribbean island of Nevis.

The island’s regulators had attempted to restrict Prest’s company, Petrodel, and had imposed fines on Bank of Nevis International Limited (BONI), which is owned by the Nigerian energy tycoon.

In June 2021, the island’s regulator, Heidi Lynn Sutton, and its regulator of international banking, Phil Jones, attempted to restrict Petrodel, and imposed fines on BONI.

The legal action led Prest’s lawyers to argue that neither regulator had the power to do so and was acting with impunity.

In February 2023, Justice Thompson awarded Prest an order for certiorari, quashing the decision of the international regulator to issue the letter seeking to restrict Prest, and ordered that he was entitled to a declaration that the regulator had no authority to restrict the activities of Petrodel.

His success is a testament to his negotiation skills and his ability to stand up to public officers acting with impunity.

The victory demonstrates that due process and the rule of law must be respected by public officers, and investors can feel confident that their investments will be protected. 

Prest’s company, Petrodel Resources, has significant oil exploration assets in Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, and Uganda.

In Tanzania, Petrodel owns the Tanga, Kimbiji, and Latham licenses.

In 2022, he announced plans to restart operations in the country.

In addition to Petrodel Resources, Prest is the founder of BONI, an international bank offering private and wealth management services.

BONI is also the second-largest shareholder in Investrust Bank Plc of Zambia.

Recently, BONI entered into a strategic trade finance intermediary relationship with Afreximbank, creating bridges for increased trade between Africa and the Caribbean, two regions of the world where Prest has a significant footprint.

With significant oil exploration assets in multiple African countries and a growing footprint in the Caribbean, Prest is a force to be reckoned with in the energy and finance industries. The leading businessman is also making a strong foray into the renewable energy sector.

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