The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has asked the Federal High Court in Yenagoa to stay proceeding in the N700 billion oil spill compensation suit filed by members of Aghoro I Community in Bayelsa.
It made the request on Wednesday while challenging the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the suit.
The people of Aghoro community had sued Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) over the May 17, 2018 oil leak from the oil firm’s Trans Ramos Pipeline.
At the resumed hearing, SPDC’s Counsel, Mr Michael Amadi informed the court that his client is challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case.
He said an appeal has been filed before the Court of Appeal. He prayed the court to stay proceeding pending the determination of the interlocutory appeal.
In response, the presiding judge, Justice Isa Dashen said he is yet to go through the notice of appeal that is in the court’s record.
He noted that he was entitled to go through the record of the appellate court and court processes before staying proceedings on the matter.
Consequently, he adjourned the matter until October 19 to avail him time to go through the processes.
He noted that he would follow the rule by awaiting the decision of the appellate court.
The suit was filed by Mr Victor Akamu, Pastor Erebimienkumor Goddey, Mrs Jane Alex, Miss Edith George, Mr Israel Tomonye and FASF Associates Ltd on behalf of Aghoro I community at Ekeremor LGA, Bayelsa.
They are seeking compensation for the damages caused by the oil spill. They claimed that the N33.49 million offered by SPDC cannot be compared to the N700 billion claim based on the impacted area damage assessment done.
Defendants in the suit include: In Shell Petroleum Development Company, Shell International Exploration and Production BV, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
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