Bayelsa Govt. drags Agip to court, demands N1.6trn compensation for 2013 oil spill
The Bayelsa State Government has dragged Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt over an oil spillage from the company’s SBM Sirius, in Brass Local Government Area of the state.
The government filed an originating summon through the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Kemeasuode Wodu.
According to the copy of the summons received by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Yenagoa, the state government is demanding N1.6 trillion compensation.
The court papers indicate that the damage claim is for general and exemplary damages from the spill, which occurred on November 27, 2013.
The originating summons, in compliance to Order 3 Rule 9 of the court, said the spill contravened the provisions of Regulation 13 of the Petroleum Regulation made pursuant to the Pursuant Act Cap P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
The Bayelsa government in the suit is also seeking an injunction restraining the defendant, from further discharging onto or allowing crude oil to the waters of and around the said SBM Sirius, Offshore Brass oil export facility.
Another relief sought include an order directing NAOC to provide potable drinking water for the communities in Bayelsa impacted by the said crude spillage from the said SBM Sirius operated by the defendant.
The Bayelsa government added that the defendant should be ordered to take all appropriate steps towards restoring the land, swamps, rivers and waters impacted by the spillage and pay compensation to all persons whose properties were destroyed.
It prayed the court to declare that the action or conduct of the defendant in allowing or causing petroleum to escape from its facility was as a result of operational error into the waters of and around the said SMB facility which flowed into the sea and parts of Bayelsa.
The plaintiff also demanded a declaration that the defendant by allowing or causing petroleum to escape from its facility as a result of its operational error, contravened Regulation 13 of the Petroleum Act Cap P10 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The Bayelsa government also want the court to declare that “the defendant is under a legal obligation to restore the lands, rivers, creeks and the entire environment impacted by the spill from on November 27, 2013 to their original state before they were impacted.”
The plaintiff also asked the court to declare that the defendant was under a legal obligation to pay compensation to all persons whose properties were polluted in the State by the said crude oil that escaped from the SBM Sirius facility.