Shell Faces Fresh Crises In Nigeria

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Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has been dragged to court in Nigeria over charges of unremitted sum of N5 trillion being accrued oil revenue from its operations at the Forcados and Bonny terminals.

In the suit filed by a group known as the Council of Ethnic Youth Leaders of Nigeria, Shell is accused of causing Nigeria to lose huge revenue due to what the group described as Shell’s “illicit activities” at the Forcados and Bonny terminals to the tune of N5 trillion

The oil gas supermajor had on September 25 faced a similar situation when an environmental activist, Mr Anderson Achilike filed charges against Shell. Achilike had asked the court to order the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe the activities of Shell.

According to Achilike, the suit was filed “as a matter of urgent national importance to save the dwindling economic fortunes of the country from acts capable of undermining the future of Nigeria.”

In the current suit, the convener of the group, Mr Tochukwu Ohazurike, suing as plaintiff, also joined the Federal Government as first defendant in the N5 trillion case. Ohazurike wants the court to declare that the legal interest, ownership and control of all hydrocarbon, including petroleum products in, under and upon the land in Nigeria is invested in the federal government.

According to him, by virtue of this position, the Federal Government can appropriate, use or in any other manner whatsoever exercise or demonstrate incidents of ownership or control thereof.

“A declaration that based on the declining remittance and/or under-declaration of earnings or revenue from crude oil exploration, production, exportation and shipment by Shell from its Forcados and Bonny Terminals, occasioned by acts of economic sabotage against Nigeria, the federal government as a sovereign entity has a duty to nationalise or take over Shell’s investment or interest in or over the Forcados and Bonny Terminals on grounds of public purpose,” the Council of Ethnic Youth Leaders of Nigeria said

They also asked for an order compelling the federal government “to nationalize or take over the investment or interest of Shell in or over the Forcados and Bonny Terminals,” on the on grounds of public purpose and national interest as a measure of curbing the economic sabotage of loss of revenue, non-remittance and under-declaration of the crude oil export or shipment from the Forcados and Bonny export terminals.

The group further prayed for an order compelling and directing the federal government “to duly regulate or in any other manner, exercise appropriate sovereign control over the operations of Shell,” with a view to curbing the economic sabotage of the accruable revenue to Nigeria from crude on export or shipment from the Forcados and Bonny export terminals.

Chibisi Ohakah

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