Port Harcourt — The Federal High Court on Wednesday gave the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, 21 days to pay N45.9 billion to the people of Ogoni in Rivers State.
Recall that the people of Ogoni have over the years instituted different suits and demanded compensation in various courts, both in Nigeria and in Europe, against the Royal Dutch Shell and SPDC, over environmental pollution and degradation, caused by the oil firm in Ogoniland.
The compensation sum is a cost awarded against the Dutch oil firm several years ago for oil spillage in Ogoniland.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in his ruling, particularly ordered that the money must be paid within 21 days to the bank account of the Counsel to the people of Ogoni.
Counsel to Shell, Aham Ejelamo, in his submission, informed the court that his client (Shell) had agreed to make the payment.
Ejelamo, however, proposed that the money be paid through the Registrar of the court in a bank account about to be opened for the purpose.
But Justice Mohammed ruled against the request and ordered that the payment be made within the period given through the account of the lawyer to the Ogoni people, Lucius Nwosu.
Mohammed explained that this was in line with the decision of both the High Court and the Supreme Court.