The Bayelsa State Government in Nigeria has dragged a oil company known as Nigerian Agrip Oil Company, NAOC Ltd to a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The alleged case is on spillage of crude oil from Agrip oil well in Brass Local Government Area of the state.
According to the originating summons filled by Mr. Kemeasuode Wodu, the Bayelsa State Attorney-General and commissioner for Justice, the company is expected to pay a sum of N1.6 trillion. This is to compensate for general and exemplary damages from the oil spill which occurred on 27th of November, 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.
The government of Bayelsa State in the suit 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 include an order directing the defendant, Agrip Oil, to provide potable drinking water for the communities in Bayelsa State; impacted by the said Petroleum spillage from the said SBM Sirius operated by the defendant.
The plaintiff said the defendant should be ordered to take all appropriate steps toward restoring the land, swamps, rivers and waters, impacted by the spillage and pay compensation to all persons whose properties were destroyed.
The government averred that the spillage contravened relevant sections of the constitution.
It asked the court to declare that the action or conduct of the defendant in allowing or causing petroleum to escape from its SBM Sirius facility was as a result of its operational error into the waters of and around the said SBM facility which flowed into the sea and parts of Bayelsa.
The plaintiff also 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.
The Bayelsa government also 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 Nov. 27, 2013, to their original state before they were impacted’’.
The plaintiff also asked the court to declare that the defendant was under a legal obligation to pay compensation to all persons whose properties were polluted in Bayelsa by the said petroleum (crude oil) that escaped from the SBM Sirius facility.
No date has been fixed for hearing of the case.