Oil Spillage: small community wins N10 billion suit

Do we actually need to destroy illegal refineries?

A Nigerian community in southern Nigeria has won an environmental degradation suit filed against Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited.

The Federal high court sitting in Lagos ordered Mobil to pay N10 billion naira to the host community for oil spillages.

The communities, which is in Lagos State, won the landmark victory for a protracted court case of 14 years.

Ogoni and other communities in core Niger Delta States have for years lamented oil spillages and environmental degradation.

Activists are beginning to question why a community in Lagos will win an oil spill case.

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Their complaint stems from the fact that the FG seem to be shielding international corporations from lawsuits.

“Why will FG decide to clean up oil spills in Ogoniland?

“Why won’t she allow us to take these companies to court and argue our case?

“If we argue it in court and win, the companies, not FG, will both clean up our lands and pay compensation.

Something is very fishy about the way our government deals with the Niger Delta region.

Justice Ibrahim Buba delivered the judgment in a 1998 oil spillage case that happened in Lagos.

The sum is in favor of the fishing communities and cooperatives of Lagos.

Chief M. A. Ajanaku and others filed the suit on their behalf.

They said Mobil had destroyed their occupation of fishing and fish farming.

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The plaintiffs sought special damages of the sum of N8, 400,000,000, ‎interest at the rate of 10% per annum.

They calculated it from 26th January 1998 until judgment and interest on the same rate until full payment is made by Mobil.

The plaintiffs further claimed N1, 400,000,000 being general damages for the infraction of their statutory rights.

They also demanded interest on the judgment sum at the rate of 10% from the date of judgment until full payment.

Justice Buba, in the judgment delivered on December 14, granted all of the Plaintiffs claims save the Claim of interest.