12th August, 2021
The Ejama-Ebubu community in Ogoniland, Rivers State will within the next 21 days receive N45.9 billion from Shell as settlement for an oil that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War.
Shell finally agreed to pay the money on Wednesday when a Federal High Court in Abuja rejected its fresh bid to avoid payment.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed who gave the order on Wednesday held that the money must be paid within 21 days.
The cost was awarded against the company in 2010 for oil spillage in Ogoniland.
In his submission, Counsel to Shell Petroleum Company, Aham Ejelamo, informed the court that his client had agreed to make the payment.
Nigeria’s Supreme Court in November last year denied Shell’s bid to challenge a 2010 award of 17 billion naira ($41.36 million), that with accruing interest the community had said was worth more than 180 billion naira.
Shell has said it never got a chance to defend itself against the substance of the claims, and early this year initiated international arbitration against Nigeria over the case.
Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, in a statement, said it maintained that the spills were caused by third parties during the war, and that it had fully remediated the sites in the Ebubu community.
The company, the most significant international oil major operating in Nigeria, has faced a string of court losses over the past year over oil spills and is in talks with the government to sell its stakes in onshore oilfields.
A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court presided by Justice Ibrahim Buba awarded the cost against Shell Petroleum Company in a judgement delivered on June 14, 2010, for the sufferings inflicted on the people of Ogoniland.
The Supreme Court upheld the judgement of the lower court in 2019.
But Shell Petroleum Company returned to the lower court for some considerations.
Justice Mohammed said that it would amount to burying the judgment of the apex court to rule otherwise.