Shell Group says it has suspended the divestment of its interest in its Nigeria subsidiary-Shell Petroleum Development Company. The IOC in a statement signed by its Managing Director of SPDC and Chairman, Osagie Okunbor, on Thursday. He said they had put the sale of the assets on hold pending the outcome of its appeal at the Supreme Court.
Moreover, The Court of Appeal and Federal High Court, Owerri had awarded $1.95bn compensation to 88 communities in Rivers State for a 2019 oil spill. They blamed on Shell and which damaged their farms and waterways. They declared the case in favour of the communities found Shell guilty of polluting farmlands and rivers and other surroundings. This in the Ejalawa community in Oken-Ogosu, Egbalor Ebubu/Eleme Local Government of Rivers State.
Thereafter, the community had sought a court order blocking Shell from disposing of its assets. They also ordered the company to put the $1.95bn into an account nominated by the court until they settled the legal dispute. Shell denied causing the spill and had filed an appeal at the Supreme Court.
Although Shell appealed both rulings and awaits a hearing, however, a report had quoted SPDC’s spokesperson, Bamidele Odugbesan He saying Shell would still go on with the divestments in Nigeria despite the ongoing case.
“The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd complies with the law. This including any court orders, and respects the judiciary and its role in upholding the rule of law. Recent media reporting regarding the 16 June Supreme Court proceedings does not accurately reflect SPDC’s response to the order. SPDC will continue to comply with the Supreme Court’s order to maintain the status quo. We have a strong belief in the merits of our case. Which we are vigorously defending,” the statement by SPDC said