Goi Community Drags Shell Nigeria to Court

Oil spill in Goi community


GOI Community in Gokana Local Government Area of the state has sued SPDC, and some others, over claims of exclusion from the recent payment of 55million Pounds Sterling compensation to residents of Bodo Community. In suit No. FHC/PH/CS/132/2015, instituted at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, the community claimed that it should not have been excluded from the compensation payment since it was also affected by the oil spill for which compensation was paid.

Other defendants in the suit include, United Nations Development Programme, UNEP, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Programme, HYPREP, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Federal Ministry of Environment, FME, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Inspector General of Police, IGP, National Oil Spill Detection Agency, NOSDRA, and Niger Delta Relief Foundation, NDRF.

The suit, which the community instituted is the second in the series against Shell by Goi community after the popular Four Niger Delta farmers’ case against the company at The Hague. Mene Tomii S. Tomii, traditional rulers, Eric Dooh, Mene kanen B. Timii and Mene Tom-Bari Gbegha who were present in court with over 100 other members of the community, are suing for themselves and representing Goi community. The community wants Shell, and nine others, to explain how compensation was paid, excluding their community for the same oil spill in 2008/2009 that the Court at The Hague ruled was caused by sabotage in 2013.

Goi community is one of three communities that had been sacked by the activities of oil firms in Ogoni land. M. E. Brown, counsel to Goi community said he is optimistic that his clients will get justice from the court as they have a good case against Shell and others.

A group, the Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action), a nongovernmental organisation, is working with Goi community on the matter under “Justice for Goi” Campaign launched in 2013. The case was adjourned by Justice U. F. Agomo of Federal High Court, Port Harcourt to October 13, 2015 for further hearing, adding that by then, all parties in the matter would have been properly served.

It should be recalled that a United Kingdom law firm, Leigh Day, in 2011 represented Bodo community and appealed to a London court for Royal Dutch Shell to pay about 300 million Pounds in compensation to its clients for the spillage of 500,000 barrels of oil into their environment in 2008/2009. Shell had accepted responsibility for the spillage and eventually paid 55million Pounds to more than

15,000 Bodo community residents in 2014 as an out-of-court settlement deal.

— Jul 20, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT


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