Court affirms Shell Petroleum/ Ogoni people N45.9bn oil spills compensation payment agreement

The oil giant Shell Petroleum Development Company and Ogoni communities  have reached an agreement on how a judgment sum of N45.9bn awarded by Federal High Court against the company as compensation for decades of oil spillage would be paid.

The sum – N45.9bn monetary compensation as ordered by a federal high court ten years ago will be paid to  the Ogoni communities through  their lawyer Chief Lucius Nwosu (SAN).

Justice Ahmed Mohammed on Wednesday rectified the agreement reached between the parties after Shell Petroleum Company through its lawyer Chief Aham Ejelamo (SAN),  announced the decision to pay up the money .

The senior lawyer had sought an order from Justice Mohammed to permit payment of the judgment sum through the Chief Registrar of the court in a bank account to be opened for the purpose. 
But it was eventually agreed that the amount be paid to the aggrieved Ogoni Communities through their lawyer 

A sum of N17billion was awarded including 25-percent interest charge on the principal sum  in the event of a default payment in favour of Ogoni people by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Port Harcourt  division of the Federal high court on June 14. 2010 in his judgment in a suit filed by the Ogoni communities

Recalled that In 2001, ten representatives of the Ogoni people instituted the suit against the oil company for the losses allegedly caused by the oil spills.

SPDC appealed against the judgment up to the supreme court and  lost.
In 2020, the company returned to the Supreme Court  seeking a review of the judgment debt.

In it’s  ruling in November 2020, the five-member panel, led by Olabode Rhodes- Vivour, a former justice of the supreme court, unanimously dismissed Shell’s application, saying it lacked merit.

Lucius Nwosu, lead counsel to the Ogoni communities had noted that the judgement sum, with the accrued interests, stood at about N182 billion.

At the resumed court session on Wednesday, Ejelamo sought the court’s permission to pay the debt through the chief registrar of the court in a bank account to be opened for the purpose.
However, it was eventually agreed that the amount is paid to the aggrieved people through their lawyer.

The Ogonis waived the interest that would have accrued on the principal sum  as a concession agreed upon during reconciliation.