Oil spill compensation: Tee Mac sues NOSDRA



Akin Kuponiyi


A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, has ordered that all court processes filed in a suit instituted against, an agency of the Federal Government, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) by a music icon, Dr. Tee Mac Iseli Omatshola (MFR) be served on all the defendants.

Joined as co-defendants in the ensuing legal battle are Federal Ministry of Environment, an oil magnate Mr Peter Dunia, an environmentalist Mr Francis Amoma Monday JP, and a limited liability company Gbutse Property Limited.

The order of the court was sequel to an application filed and argued before the court on behalf of Dr.Tee Mac by a Lagos lawyer, Barrister Dada Awosika.

In an affidavit sworn to by Dr. Tee Mac, he averred that on 20 December, 2011, there was an oil spill at Bonga Oil Field which was under the control of Shell Nigerian Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) resulting in over 40,000 barrels of crude oil spilling into the marine environment, causing utter devastation to marine and human lives.

The spillage was caused by equipment failure resulting from snapped loading hoses under water.

The spill was alleged to have covered about 185 kilometers along the coast of Ekeremor, Southern Ijaw, Brass, Warri Southwest and Burutu areas of Delta and Bayelsa states.


In the wake of the spill, aquatic lives were destroyed as fishermen were compelled to desert the sea, with farmlands, vegetation and the environment contaminated.

Tee Mac averred further that on 22 December, 2011.Mr Peter Dunia called him that some of the community leaders affected by the spillage wanted him to represent their interest in a bid to follow due process in seeking redress for the devastation occasioned by the spillage.

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He said accepted the request to represent the communities and organise press conferences and engaged the services of experts and enlisted the services of Norwegian Government.

He also hired the services of a law firm GMO Legal as consultant while a petition was sent to the House of Representative as well as NOSDRA and Federal Ministry of Environment for immediate action to be taken

It was agreed that compensation that would be paid to the affected communities shall be sixty percent to the communities and forty percent shall be earmarked for commissions, attorneys, consultants and to repay all funds raised by him for the exercise.

Tee Mac averred further that, in order to forestall acrimony, himself, Mr Peter Dunia alongside Mr Francis Amona Monday and Gbutse Property agreed to a new sharing format of the commission payable to the agents as follows: himself 25 percent; Mr Dunia 30 percent; Mr Francis Anoma 20 percent; Legal 20 percent, and the rest for other smaller coordinator, but they refused to execute any document to that effect.

Rather they have been deploying means of scheming him out of the commission payable to them.

The House of Representatives as well as NOSDRA have directed SNEPCO to pay compensation to the affected communities.

Consequently, Tee Mac is urging the court to declare that it is an act repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience for the defendants to edge out, sidetrack and bye pass him from the commission payable to them in regard to the compensation directed to be paid.

Justice Saliu Saidu, in his ruling while adjourning till 18 February, 2016 for hearing, ordered that all the court processes should be served on Mr Peter Dunia and Mr Francis Amoma Monday at their address at 2, Mapple Swamp Road, Warri, Delta State, Nigeria.

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