Written by Egufe Yafugborhi, Port-Harcourt
The River State government on Wednesday declared possession and sealed the oil goods loaded with Kidney Island, once the operating base of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Port Harcourt.
But Osagie Okunbor, general director, SPDC and chairman of school companies in Nigeria, rejected the response of the state action, describing it as “premature and illegal”
Chief Prosecutor and Commissioner for Justice in Rijeka, prof. Zaccheus Adangor, SAN, led the closure of Kidney Island in the aforementioned execution of the judgment of the High Court in Rijeka.
Adangor stressed that the action was in pursuing the interest of the River Government in acquiring a 45 per cent ownership stake in the Oil Mines Lease (OML) 11 and Kidney Island.
He stated, “Accordingly, Kidney Island, formerly a Shell operational base, now belongs to the Government of the State of Rijeka on the basis of a purchase certificate registered in the Land Register under No. 6 on page 6 in Vol. 46, Port Harcourt.
“Confirmation of purchase was issued by order of the High Court of the State of July 23, 2019 and September 25, 2019, following the purchase of the facility.”
“The Supreme Court had in November 2020, confirmed the acquisition of interest by the SPDC Government for SPDC for OML11 and Kidney Island when it rejected the lawsuit of the oil company that tried to overturn the verdict passed against it in 2019 in favor of the Eyama-Ebubu community.
“Sometime in 2017, the residents of Eyama-Ebubu secured a verdict against the SPDC and its subsidiaries in the amount of N57.7 billion Naira for the damage caused to their environment resulting from the oil spill from the Trans-Niger pipeline.
“Following that judgment, Shell refused to pay the amount of the judgment and thereafter proceeded with enforcement by attributing the movable properties of the SPDC. But they were found to be extremely insufficient to settle the amount of the judgment.
“After that, they (Eyama-Ebubu community) appealed to the court asking them to leave the SPDC’s real estate and the court approved the order. This was followed by a court order for the sale of some SPDC assets, including Kidney Island and the acquisition of Shell’s stake in OML 11. ”
Adangor said that following a court order, judicial officials in Rijeka held a public auction and the state government successfully bid to buy shares in Kidney Island and Shell for OML 11.
“So, we are here to execute the judgment of the High Court in Rijeka and ensure the execution of the interest acquired by the government of the state of Rivers.
“It was bought in a legal way through a public auction ordered by the court on the basis of a court verdict, so everything went in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.”
“The Rivers State Government successfully carried out the execution and, honestly according to Shell, there was no resistance during the exercise.”
Livinus Akere from the office of the Deputy Sheriff, High Court, Port Harcourt, said that the exercise was supposed to get rid of the Kidney Islands at an auction on August 13, 2019, and OML 11 in the Eyama community in the Elema local government area.
Nyesom Governor Ezenwo Wike had in September 2019, announcing that Rivers State would acquire an SPDC 45% stake in the OML 11 and Kidney Island oil fields.
Following a court order to auction SPDC property in a lawsuit against the Eyama-Ebubu community, the governor ordered the Ministry of Finance, Inc. Rivers, to submit a bid of $ 150,000,099.00 backed by a bank guarantee and a cash payment to the deputy sheriff in the amount of N1 billion. it must later pay to the court creditors, while the former is deposited.
Vanguard News Nigeria