Bayelsa Government Sues Agip Oil, Claims N1.6tn Worth Of Damage

Bayelsa State government, has sued Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC) to a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, over an oil spillage from the company’s SBM Sirius, (offshore Brass) in Brass local government area of the state.

The government, in an originating summons, filed by the Bayelsa State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Kemeasuode Wodu, demanded the sum of 1.6 Trillion Naira compensation for general and exemplary damages from the spill which occurred on November 27, 2013.

The originating summons, which is pursuant 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.

Meanwhile, the government is seeking an injunction restraining the defendant, its agents and or servants from further discharging onto or allowing petroleum (crude oil) to escape onto the waters of and around the said SBM Sirius, (Offshore Brass) facility.

Another relief includes an order directing the defendant (NAOC), to provide potable drinking water for the communities in Bayelsa state impacted by the said Petroleum spillage from the said SBM Sirius (offshore Brass) operated by the defendant.

The plaintiff added, “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”.

While claiming that the spillage contravened relevant sections of the constitution, the plaintiff asked the court to declare that the action or conduct of the defendant in allowing or causing petroleum to escape from its SMB Sirius facility was as a result of its operational error into the waters of and around the said SMB facility which flowed into the sea and parts of Bayelsa State.

The plaintiff demanded a declaration that the defendant by allowing or causing petroleum to escape from its SBM Sirius facility as a result of its operational error, into the waters of around the said SBM Sirius facility contravened Regulation 13 of the Petroleum Act Cap P10 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

However, the state wants 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 aforesaid petroleum (crude oil) that escaped from the SBM Sirius (offshore brass) facility on November 27, 2013 to their original state before they were impacted.”

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