A Federal High Court in Asaba, Delta State, has awarded N15.4 billion as special and punitive damages against Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC for an oil spill in Ejama-Ebubu community of Rivers State in 1970. The spill which affected an area of 255.369 hectares occurred in 1970, the suit was instituted in 2001.
The suit went through two judges, Justice Adamu Bello and Regina Nwodo before it came under Justice Ibrahim Buba who delivered judgment in the matter on June 14, 2010, after it had been transferred to Asaba Division of the Federal High Court.
In the judgment, Justice Buba also ordered the defendant to de-pollute and rehabilitate the dry-land swamps to pre-impact status.
The suit was instituted by Isaac Osaro Agbara, Victor Obari, Humphrey Ogiti, FN Ogbosu, John Oguru and Joseph Ogosu, all of them being community leaders.
In the suit filed on behalf of themselves and the community, the plaintiffs requested for the award of special damages in the sum of N1.78 billion covering loss of income, injurious affection, pollution of water resource, health hazards and desecration of the community’s shrines.