A Federal High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State, has ordered oil giant, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, to pay the people of Odimodi Federated Communities and the Forcados Community in Burutu Council Area of the state N1.430bn over the 1998 oil spill which destroyed the communities’ means of livelihood.
In a judgment delivered by Honourable Justice Shitu Abubakar on suit No: FHC/WR/30/2013, the judge held that there were evidences that about 40,000 barrels of crude oil spilled into the Atlantic Ocean criss-crossing seven states including Lagos and Delta from a ruptured Mobil’s 24-inch pipeline at Idoho in Akwa Ibom State which in turn affected the communities.
Justice Abubakar, in the copy of the judgment made available to newsmen, ruled that, “Finally, I agree with the plaintiffs’ counsel that the plaintiffs have proved their case against the defendant on preponderance of evidence as required by Section 137 of the Evidence Act, 2011.
“Accordingly, I enter judgment in favour of the plaintiffs and against the defendant as per plaintiffs’ Writ of Summons. For the avoidance of doubt, I order the defendant to pay to the plaintiffs as follows:
“N980,000,000.00 (nine hundred and eighty million naira) being fair and adequate compensation due and payable to the Odimodi Federated Communities for injurious effect, ecological damage, loss of means of livelihood and damage to fishing creeks…and health hazards emanating directly from and intimately connected with the defendant’s Idoho 24-inch burst oil pipeline spillage of 12th January, 1998…
“N450, 000, 000.00 (four hundred and fifty million naira) being fair and adequate compensation due and made payable to the Forcados Community for injurious effect, ecological damage, loss of means of livelihood and damages to fishing creeks,…and health hazards emanating directly from and intimately connected with the defendant’s Idoho 24-inch bust oil pipeline spillage of 12th January, 1998…”