Akwa Ibom communities awarded N90bn in damages against oil giants

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Ibeno communities in Akwa Ibom have got N90bn in damages from the NNPC and Mobil Oil Company after 20-year long legal battle.

A Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the defendants to pay the sum in compensation for the economic losses the villages suffered as a result of oil spillages in 2000 and 2010.

Delivering judgement in a joint suit by the Ibeno villages, Justice Taiwo Oladipupo Taiwo held that both NNPC and Mobil oil were liable for oil spillages over the years during explorations.

According to him, the two defendants were negligent, reckless and uncaring in the ways and manners they left the people of the oil communities to their fates even after inflicting pains and economic injuries on them.

The court also reprimanded the NNPC for being interested in revenue generation alone at the expense of those whose lands and water were unprofitable for agricultural purposes as their means of livelihood.

Justice Taiwo rejected the evidence of the witnesses called by Mobil adding that the oral and documentary evidence were unreliable and questionable.

He noted the witnesses were evasive and hostile while being cross examined by the plaintiff’s lawyer adding that no court or record will give probative value to the defence of the oil company.

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