Home / Business and Economy / Court adjourns hearing on N700 bn spill compensation suit by Shell’s hosts at Aghoro in Bayelsa
Mr. Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) and Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria.

Court adjourns hearing on N700 bn spill compensation suit by Shell’s hosts at Aghoro in Bayelsa

Mr. Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) and Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria.

The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa on Monday adjourned till March 22 the hearing on a N 700 billion oil spill compensation suit filed by members of Aghoro 1 community in Bayelsa.

The people of Aghoro 1 in Ekeremor Local Government Area (LGA) in Bayelsa sued Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) over a May 17, 2018 oil leak from the oil firm’s Trans Ramos Pipeline.

When the suit came up for hearing of pending motions, Counsel to SPDC , Mr. Yusuph Mustapha (SAN) informed the court that he had filed another motion challenging the jurisdiction to hear the case because it was statute barred.

He further said that he was also seeking the relief of the court to approach the Court of Appeal to interprete the statutes as it concerns one of the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs.

Counsel to the plaintiffs Mr. Mohammed Mohammed (SAN) told the presiding judge, Justice Isa Ndahen that he was to argue against the motion brought by the defence without an address as it was merely a ploy to delay justice.

Mohammed noted that it was strange and a breach of procedure for a party to seek leave of a trial court to approach the appellate court on a motion which he described as an attempt to buy time and frustrate the plaintiffs.

The trial judge, Justice Isa Ndahen urged counsel to parties in the case to file their responses to the new motion, in a formal way to enable him rule on them by the next adjourned date.

The plaintiffs are Mr. Victor Akamu, Pastor Erebimienkumor Goddey, Mrs. Jane Alex, Miss Edith George, Mr. Israel To money and FASF Associates Ltd on behalf of Aghoro 1 community at Ekeremor LGA, Bayelsa.

They are seeking redress for the damages cause by the oil spill and are claiming that the N33.49 million offered by SPDC was a far cry from the N700 billion claim based on impacted area damage assessment.

Listed as defendants in the suit are, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Shell International Exploration and Production BV, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

 

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