The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), said on Wednesday that it has secured a court judgment ordering an oil firm to pay a fine of ₦68 million for failure to report an oil spill.
According to a statement issued by Mr Henshaw Ogubike, Head of Public Affairs, NOSDRA, on behalf of the Director-General, Dr Peter Idabor, the judgment was delivered by a Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta.
NOSDRA had in March 5, 2011, dragged Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Ltd (SEEPCO) to court for failure to report an oil spill incident at the Okwuibome Location (OPL 280).
Ogubike said that the court presided over by Justice Olatoregun-Ishola held that SEEPCO breached the NOSDRA Act 2006.
“Delivering judgment on the case on Oct. 29, 2015, Justice Olatoregun-Ishola upheld the submissions by counsel to NOSDRA.
“The court held that SEEPCO was in breach of Section 6 (2) of the Agency's Act when it failed to report in writing the oil spill incident at OKWC and that the Agency had the powers under its enabling Act to impose the fine of ₦68 million.
“It would be recalled that NOSDRA commenced the legal action against SEEPCO on Feb. 17, 2012.
“NOSDRA sought amongst others, a declaration that the defendant was in direct breach of Section 6 (2) of the plaintiff's enabling Act when it failed to report in writing the oil spill incident of March, 2011 at the Okwuibome Location,” the statement read in part.
The oil spill agency noted that the judgment was a boost to NOSDRA’s efforts to ensure compliance with all existing environmental legislation and detection of oil spills in the industry.