- The Akwa Ibom communities have a lot to be happy about now that a court has granted them a N82 billion compensation request and ordered the CBN to pay it
- The communities had approached the court in response to failure by CBN to release their money 8 months after winning a case
- The Akwa Ibom communities had last year demanded over N100 billion from three oil firms operating in their areas for oil spills and environmental damage
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release N81.9 billion to communities in Ibeno local government area of Akwa Ibom State.
The money is standing to the credit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its joint venture partner, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited.
The judge gave the order while ruling on a garnishee nisi proceeding filed by the communities.
What happened in court
The representatives of the communities led by Mr. Effiong Archianga had in suit filed by their lawyer, Lucius Nwosu (SAN), had demanded N100billion for losses suffered from oil spillage.
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They claimed that the oil spill caused environmental degradation in their communities.
NNPC, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and ExxonMobil Corporation were listed as defendants in the suit.
The court had on June 21, 2021 awarded N81.9 billion to the plaintiffs, who are now judgment creditors, ChannelsTV reports.
The court ordered that the money be paid within 14 days after which eight percent interest would be accruable on the principal sum annually.
However, on December 15, 2021, in a garnishee nisi proceeding, the CBN insisted that it must get the consent of the Attorney- General of the Federation before enforcing the judgment.
On Monday, 28 February 2022 proceedings, Justice Taiwo dismissed the apex bank’s claim and ordered the release of the funds to the communities.
Top international oil companies ignore Nigeria
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Nigeria is facing strong opposition from Libya for oil investments.
According to the report, top oil companies recently expressed their desire to invest in Libya, barely months after the country ended its decade-long conflict.
Some international oil companies left in Nigeria are in fact leaving due to an increase in bunkering and vandalism of oil facilities.