Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and ExxonMobil, Monday, were ordered to pay N90 billion damages to Ibeno oil-producing communities in Akwa Ibom State for economic losses suffered by them during oil spills.
The oil spills said to have occurred from 2000 to 2010 caused pollution to rivers and lands leading to loss of animals and plants.
Delivering judgment in a joint suit by the Ibeno villages, Justice Taiwo Oladipupo Taiwo of Federal High Court in Abuja held that NNPC and Mobil oil were liable for oil spills over the years during explorations.
Reports monitored from Legal Desk Nigeria in Uyo says the Judge held that 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 condemned 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.
According to the Judge, 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.
Justice Taiwo also ordered the two defendants to pay the oil spill victims N90 billion as damages for their losses.