Oil Spill: Court orders firm to pay N68m fine

11 November 2015, Asaba—A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, has ordered Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Ltd, SEEPCO, to pay the fine of N68 million imposed on it.

Gavel.judge.justicepegThe fine was imposed on the firm by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, for failure to report the oil spill incident that occurred at the Okwuibome location C (OPL 280) on March 5, 2011, but when the oil firm refused to pay, it was dragged to court.

Trial judge in the matter, Justice Olatoregun-Ishola upheld the submissions by the counsel to NOSDRA.

The court held that SEEPCO was in breach of Section 6 (2) of the Agency’s Act when it failed to report in writing the oil spill incident at OKWC and that the agency had the powers under its enabling Act to impose the fine of N68 million.

It will be recalled that NOSDRA commenced the legal action against SEEPCO on February 17, 2012 by seeking, amongst others, a declaration that the defendant was in direct breach of Section 6 (2) of the Plaintiff’s enabling Act when it failed to report in writing the oil spill incident of March, 2011 at Okwuibome location C (OPL 280).

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