By Phil Abha
The Royal Dutch PLC, Shell International Trading & Shipping Company Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited have lost the application filed for jurisdiction in London court over the Bonga Oil spill case that occurred 20th of December 2011 in Niger Delta area of Nigeria.
Arising from jurisdictional hearing on Thursday, 19th September, 2019 and Monday 7th October to Thursday 10th October 2019, after listening to the claimants attorneys and first, second & third defendants counsel and arguments, Hon. Justice Stuart Smith ruled that the English Court has jurisdiction to proceed with the Bonga oil spill which happened December 20, 2011.
The matter which was instituted by Mr. Harrison Jalla the Executive Director Oil Spill Victims Vanguard, OSPIVV, a non Governmental Organization and others impacted and affected communities across Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom, Edo and Ondo States.
According to Mr. Jalla, the initiative of Oil Spill Victims Vanguard, OSPIVV, is dedicated to fighting for the rights and compensation of victims and communities bedeviled with oil spill as well as health hazard of gas flaring, transparency and accountability in the extractive industry in Nigeria.
It would be recalled that OSPIVV through its Executive Director, Mr. Jalla since 2017 had sued Shell Group in an ongoing protracted litigation through Mr. Nicholas Ekhoruntowen of Johnson & Steller Solicitors of Hanover Square, Mayfair, and London for himself and on behalf of victims and communities impacted by the Bonga Oil spill of December 2011.
According to OSPIVV, the spill occurred due to gross negligence by Shell Exploration and Production Company Limited, SNEPCO and Shell International Shipping And Trading Company Limited, STATSCO which discharged over 40,000 barrels of crude oil Into the Atlantic Ocean, affected over 168,000 persons in over 478 communities and villages were negatively impacted.
The pollution affected the range of over 185 kilometers along the Nigeria coast line making fishermen, women to desert the area, it also contaminated and affected vegetations in Warri South, Warri South-West, Warri North, Burutu communities in Burutu Local government Area both in Delta State, Ekeremor, Brass and Southern Ijaw in Bayelsa State, some riverine communities of Ondo, Akwa-Ibom and Edo states.
OSPIVV is however hoping to get justice for for the affected communities through the court in order to get compensation and cleanup of the impacted region.
By Phil Abha