After more than ten years of resisting the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) on Wednesday agreed to pay N46 billion as compensation to communities in Ogoniland for oil spills traced to its facility.
Counsel to the affected Ogoni communities, Lucius Nwosu, said Shell agreed to make the payment through his Chambers for the losses suffered as a result of the oil spills that devastated their environment.
Lawyers to Shell, Aham Ejelamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, confirmed the agreement while addressing Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday.
Shell, theough its lawyers had sought the order of Justice Mohammed to to approve that the payment be made through the Chief Registrar of the court in a bank account to be opened for that purpose.
But the communities preferred the payment to be made through their lawyers.
The final decision was eventually taken following the approved by Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja for the compensation to be paid to the aggrieved communities through their lawyer.
The compensation was awarded to the Ogoni communities by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High court in Lagos on June 14, 2010 in his judgment in a suit filed by the Ogoni people.
Following reconciliation meetings with Shell, the Ogoni communities waived the interest that accummulated on the principal sum for the over ten years period the compensation remained unpaid as concession.