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ThisDayOnline (Nigeria): Oil Pollution: Shell Ordered to Pay N1.8bn Compensation

Tuesday 3 January 2006
A Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State has ordered Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to pay N549,187,568 as special damages and N1,300,000,000 as general damages to Umuorie Community in Ukwa West Local Government of Abia State for oil pollution.
Mr Justice J. T. Tsoho however, rejected the community’s request to perpetually grant an injunction restraining the company “from the horizontal flaring of gas and discharge of noxious production liquids”,stating that “it is appreciated that this order, if granted will be difficult to meet, if not impossible in the near future. This is because the areas involved are highly technical and immense expenditure will also be involved.”
On why it awarded the amount to the community represented by its counsel, Mr Lucius Nwosu (SAN) the judge held that “it is my conviction that the plaintiffs in this suit have established on the balance of evidence that the defendants (SPDC) operations at Isimiri flow station have caused environmental pollution and damage to the Umuorie community, to which the plaintiffs belong. The plaintiffs are consequently entitled to compensation on behalf of their community.”
The legal action was initiated five years ago by Nwosu, naming Chief Authur, R. John and others as plaintiffs and SPDC as defendant.
The three plaintiffs brought the suit for themselves and on behalf of the entire people of Umuorie claiming special and general damages.

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