Oil Spill Judgment: Body Slams ExxonMobil A 14-Day Ultimatum

ExxonMobil
ExxonMobil

Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND) and ExxonMobil are on coalition course over the company’s non-compliance with the court judgment in paying compensation to communities affected by spills in Akwa Ibom State.

Angered by ExxonMobil appeal against the judgment, the body has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the company beginning from July 26 to August 8, 2021 to stop operations until the money is paid.

Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (now ExxonMobil) and its joint venture partner, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to pay N81.9 billion to a number of communities in Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, affected by crude oil spills from 2000 to 2010.

The money formed the damages Justice Taiwo Taiwo awarded against Mobil and NNPC in a judgment he delivered on Monday, In June 2021  in a suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/54/2012 filed by representatives of the communities led by Obong Effiong Archianga.

In a press release sent to Straightnews Monday, July 26, the national organizing secretary, comrade Dimieari Pepple; the vice chairman, Akwa Ibom Chapter, Comrade Patrick Ukpe Afaiko and various clan executives stated that ExxonMobil has appealed against the judgment.

”It is sad to observe that ExxonMobil rather than pay for the great damage it has done to our aquatic life, choose to spend all that sum going from one court to another.

‘’ExxonMobil is insensitive, ruthless, oppressive and treacherous in all its policies and activities towards its host communities and catchment areas over the years,’’ the release described the company.

It noted ”Based on the above understanding, MOSIEND in its resolution agreed not to fold its hands and watch ExxonMobil proceed with its habitual and clandestine manner of damaging our land and aquatic life without quantum compensation.

”Consequent upon this mischievous approach of ExxonMobil, MOSIEND hereby gives a 14- day ultimatum to ExxonMobil to stop work and other activities pending when the case in Appeal Court is determined.

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”ExxonMobil should, as a matter of concern, abide by this order to avert the unforeseen consequences that will follow. MOSIEND will not tolerate this callousness anymore.

”Failure of this cruel company to comply with the 14-day ultimatum which will expire on the 8th day of August, 2021; MOSIEND will mobilize its units, clans, chapters, national and sister ethnic organizations including militants alike to shut down ExxonMobil operations at Eket Qua Iboe Terminal to ensure that nobody enters into the company,’’ it warned.

According to the release, ”We use this platform to urge all local and foreign workers to vacate the terminal for their own safety. He who is down, fears no fall, we can no longer stomach their devilish treatment.

”We are calling on the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Slyva; the immediate past minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu and Mr Odein Ajumogobia, SAN former Ministers  who are illustrious sons of the region and have strong ties with ExxonMobil to prevail on the company to, as a matter of urgency, engage the Local Government, the King  and good people of Ibeno in meaningful discussions as well as pay compensations to them.

”…ExxonMobil ought not to be operating and making profit while the affected indigenes suffer untold hardships due largely to the reckless and unprofessional conduct of their staff, causing casualties for many and making others redundant and jobless for years without palliative to cushion agony of the victims.’’

”We shall resist this injustice, marginalization and fight for our rights with last ounce of blood. ExxonMobil top management and security Chief are already threatening the community and frightening the traditional ruler and youths with a view to coerce them to succumb to their oppressive tendencies,’’ they vowed.