21st July, 2011
A member of Ogoegbulam family of Ndoroko village, Izombe in Imo State of Nigeria, Mr. Nze Martins Ogoegbulam, for himself and on behalf of the community, has slammed a N12 billion suit on Addax Petroleum Company Nigeria Limited.
The community is claiming the said sum as compensation for the 11 oil well heads on the its parcel of land occupied by the oil company for about 34 years.
In an affidavit sworn to by Mr. Martins Ogoegbulam in a fundamental right of application filed before the court by a legal practitioner, Kayode Uanreroro, the deponents averred that Addax Petroleum Company Limited and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), are oil and gas companies in Nigeria engaged jointly and severally in the exploitation and production of crude oil and other petroleum products in Nigeria.
Ogoegbulam, further averred that his family owned the greatest portion of the land where exploration, exploitation, drilling and production of petroleum products are drilled and pipes laid to the flow station where production activities are carried on by the two defendants.
It was also alleged that the defendants have been engaged in massive, relentless and continuous gas flaring on the parcel of land in Ndioko village, Izombe in Imo State and that their activities have seriously polluted the air, which may cause respiratory diseases and generally endanger and impair the health of the applicants and other members of the community.
The plaintiffs contended that although the defendants have maximised profits from petroleum exploration and production activities from their land, they have failed to pay fair and adequate compensation to him and members of his family as required by Petroleum Act.
The exploration activities of the two defendants were alleged to have contributed the adverse climate change in the community which exposes the villagers to increased risk of premature death, respiratory illness, asthma and cancer, which the defendants have not bothered to consider.
All letters written by the plaintiffâ€™s lawyer, Mr. Kayode Uanreroro, demanding for the payment of fair and adequate compensation as provided by the law, have not yielded any fruitful dividend.
Consequently, the plaintiffs, while urging the court to declare that the activities of Addax Petroleum Development Company and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation are a violation of their fundamental right to life, also want the court to order the defendants to pay N12 billion to them as damages which represents fair and adequate compensation for their land they have been exploiting for the past 34 years.