Oil Spill: Shell clears air on Supreme Court judgement, declares readiness to defend self

Posted by News Express | 28 November 2020 | 776 times

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Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited has cleared the air regarding Friday’s Supreme Court dismissal of its application seeking to set aside a January 11, 2019 judgement of the court upholding damages to the tune of N17 billion awarded against the oil company.

Shell said in a statement issued later on Friday: “This spill was caused by third parties during the Nigerian Civil War, a challenging period which resulted in significant damage to oil and gas infrastructure in the region. While SPDC does not accept responsibility for these spills, the affected sites in the Ebubu community were fully remediated.

“The claimants have – at their own admission in court – materially miscalculated and overstated the value of the award previously sought in this case. The ruling of the Supreme Court did not decide liability or the size of the award, which remain in dispute in other ongoing court proceedings. It is our position that any attempt to enforce payment should not be permitted. It is regrettable that the legal process in this case has focused for so long on procedural issues and not the merits of the case. We have always maintained that we are ready to defend this case based on the available facts.”

The Supreme Court had on January 11, 2019 upheld an earlier judgment by the Court of Appeal, affirming a June 14, 2010 judgement of the Federal High Court which awarded the damages against Shell over an oil spill at Ejam-Ebulu in Tai Eleme Local Government Area of River State in 1970.

Dismissing the application on Friday, Justice Samuel Osuji, who read the lead ruling of the apex court’s panel prepared by Justice Centus Nweze, held that the application by Shell, asking it to revisit its earlier judgment, was unmeritorious.

Although the lawyer to Shell declined speaking to Journalists, lawyer to Ejam-Ebulu community, Mr Lucius Nwosu while applauding the verdict of the court said the judgment sum, with interest, now stands in the region of N160 billion.


Source: News Express

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