Nigeria’s Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Shell Petroleum Development Company requesting the apex court revisit its 2019 judgment ordering the oil giant to pay N17 billion (about $45m) to some Ogoni communities in Rivers State affected by an oil spill from the company in 1970.
The judgement finally puts to rest a case that’s lasted about 32 years from when it started at the High Court.
Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour alongside four other Justices unanimously upheld the preliminary objection filed by the communities’ legal team and issued the N17bn order in favour of Ejama-Ebubu in Tai Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, represented by Isaac Agbara and nine others.
The communities’ lead lawyer, Lucius Igwe, on Friday said that the judgment sum with the accrued interests for the 32 years period stood at about N182bn (about $477 million).
At the September 22, 2020 hearing leading to the Supreme Court’s ruling delivered on Friday, Nwosu had urged the apex court not to only dismiss the application, but to also make an order against all the senior lawyers in Shell’s legal team as “deterrence” for the filing of the judgment review application which he alleged was aimed at ridiculing the integrity and finality of the decisions of the apex court.
By Abel Ejikeme