Bayelsa State Government has taken the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) Limited to a Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, demanding N1.6tn compensation for oil spillage from the firm’s SBM Sirius, (offshore Brass) in Brass Local Government Area of the state.
In the suit filed by the Bayelsa State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Kemeasuode Wodu, the government said the compensation was for general and exemplary damages from the spill which occurred on November 27, 2013.
According to the suit filed in pursuant to Order 3 Rule 9 of the court, the spill contravened the provisions of Regulation 13 of the Petroleum Regulation Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
The government 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”.
It asked the court to make an order directing the defendant (NAOC) to provide potable drinking water for the communities in Bayelsa State impacted by the spillage.
The government further asked the court to direct the defendant to take all appropriate steps towards restoring the land, swamps, rivers and waters impacted by the spillage and pay compensation to all persons whose properties were destroyed.
It averred that the spillage contravened relevant sections of the constitution and asked the court to declare that the spillage was caused by the operational error of the defendant.
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.
“A declaration 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 November 27, 2013 to their original state before they were impacted.
“A declaration that the defendant was under a legal obligation to pay compensation to all persons whose properties were polluted in Bayelsa State by the said petroleum (crude oil) that escaped from the SBM Sirius facility”.