A Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, The Oil Spill Victims Vanguard, OSPIVV, says they won the issue of jurisdiction against
From Left: Rev. Dickson Ajanemiwa, Orie George, Mr. Harrison Jalla & Aloy Okerieke
A Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, The Oil Spill Victims Vanguard, OSPIVV, says they won the issue of jurisdiction against Shell in United Kingdom, assuring victims of the Shell Bonga Oil Spill that occurred December 20, 2011, of getting victory at the court as the case proceeds.
Our Senior Correspondent reports that the assurance was given Wednesday December 9, by the Executive Director of OSPIVV, Mr. Harrison Jalla, during a press briefing held in Warri, Delta State.
Mr. Jalla, disclosed that OSPIVV filed the suit September 21, 2017, through his former lawyers; Johnson and Steller Solicitors, now replaced by Rosenblatt Limited, a reputable Oil and Gas Specialists Legal Firm in UK. The new UK based attorney filed another protective claim in suit number HT-2020-000143 on April 23, 2020.
Fresh Angle International understands that the action was as result of what OSPIVV described as gross negligence of Shell Trading and Shipping Company, STATSCO and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCO in their Bonga Field Operations, which allegedly discharged over 40 thousand Barrels of crude oil into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Shell companies’ spill, reportedly affected over 170 thousand fishermen and impacted 450 communities along Niger Delta Coast Line, between Delta and Bayelsa States.
The pollution from the discharged crude, allegedly impacted over 185 kilometres stretch along the Nigerian coast line, destroying plantations, farm lands and also contaminating communities in Ekeremor, Southern Ijaw and Brass Local Government Areas in Bayelsa State as well as communities in Warri South, Warri South-West, Warri North and Burutu Local Government Areas in Delta State, including some riverine communities in Ondo State..
It would be recalled that when the English Court entertained the matter in 2017, Shell Group contested the court’s jurisdiction and judgement was handed down by Hon. Justice Stuart Smith on March 2, 2020. The English Court assumed jurisdiction and ruled in favour of OSPIVV, individual and community claimants in the case.
The Shell Bonga Oil Spill matter was heard on November 19, 2020 in a case management session by both parties, under a new judge, Honourable Justice (Mrs.) O’ Farrell.
According to OSPIVV, the ongoing legal action is to compel the Shell Group and its subsidiaries to do clean up, rectification, restoration and pay compensation as well as damages caused by the spill.
General Manager, Oil Spill Victims Vanguard, OSPIVV, Aloy Okerieke, Bayelsa State Coordinator, Ada Gwegwe, Rev. Dickson Ajanemiwa and the affected communities’ representatives attended the briefing.
A cross section of the Shell Bonga oil spill impacted communities’ representatives at the briefing