Delta communities accuse Shell of falsifying Bonga spill probe result

Mutiu Sunmonu, Shell MD16 May 2013, Warri – Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited, SNPECo, has been accused of forging the result of a probe into the 2011 Bonga crude oil spill.

About 80 oil producing communities in Warri North and Warri South-West Local Government Areas of Delta State made the allegation, Wednesday, in Warri at a meeting with officials of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the Nigerian Naval Service, NNS Delta.

The communities are alleging that SNEPCo fabricated the result of samples of oil, soil and surface water collected for test from a few communities impacted by the Bonga oil spill.

Coordinator and spokesman of the affected communities, Mr. F. A. Monday, lamented the damage the spill had visited on the communities, especially as it concerned the ecology and means of livelihood of the people.

According to him, information reaching the communities indicated that because of the renewed agitation by the communities, Shell recently requested “security agents and gun boats to force themselves into our communities for the purpose of sample collection to falsify another result with respect to the said crude oil spillage”.

He said: “We discovered that Shell merely invited some government officials to observe soil, surface water and oil samples collected in few villages in Bayelsa State and Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State and these villages are outside our areas in 2011.

“It is our submission that SNPECo only tried to doctor the facts by embarking on a kangaroo samples collection and thereafter, presented suspected falsified result of same to some government agencies.

“Also, it was inciting us against government authorities that participated in observing the said samples collection and SNPECo’s actions was a calculated attempt to pervert justice, misinform, mislead and equivocate the Bonga oil spillage incident.”

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