Ogoni Oil Spillage: Supreme Court Dismisses Shell’s Appeal In N17b Suit

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The Supreme Court has dismissed an application to review its judgment of Jan. 11, 2019 that ordered Shell Petroleum Development Company to pay N17 billion to Ogoni communities in Rivers state.

A five-member panel of justices, in a ruling on Friday, dismissed the application on the grounds that it had no merit since the court had taken a decision on the appeal and the court could not reverse itself.

The judgment prepared by Justice Centus Nweze and read by Justice Chukwudumebi Oseji on Friday in Abuja, held that the application had no merit.

The Supreme Court had issued the N17 billion order in favour of Ejama-Ebubu in Tai Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers which was affected by an oil spill caused by the oil company in 1970.

Counsel to the communities, Mr Lucius Nwosu told newsmen that the judgment sum, with interest accrued over the past 31 years was about N182 billion.

Nwosu had in September, at the hearing of the application, prayed the apex court to not only dismiss the application, but to also punish all the senior lawyers in Shell’s legal team for the filing the judgment review application.

Nwosu said that the application was an attempt to ridicule the integrity and finality of the decisions of the apex court.

He further argued that the fresh appeal by Shell, which was filed seven months after the initial appeal was dismissed, was a calculated attempt to move the Supreme Court to sit on appeal over its final judgement.

Nwosu also told the apex court that the same Shell that was reluctant to pay damages to Nigerian victims of its oil spillage had in similar situations paid over 206 million dollars to victims in Mexico.

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