The 300MMscfd capacity ANOH gas processing plant, located on OML 53 in Imo State, which is an international joint venture (IJV) owned equally between Seplat and the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) appears to have run into troubled waters.
This is as members of Awarra Community (Ohaji/Egbema) Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative Society Limited has filed a case against the NNPCL at a Federal High Court in Owerri, Imo State in Suit No: FHC/OW/CS/45/2023 demanding for the payment of over N17 billion as compensation for the destruction of rubber seedlings/crops.
In the ‘Originating Summons’ and ‘Motion for Interlocutory Injunction’, the plaintiff is seeking the court’s determination among others why the NNPCL has failed to pay adequate and fair compensation for the acquisition of the pipeline right of way, injury to economic crops and damage to the surface of the land area lawfully occupied by the plaintiff.
The plaintiff is also asking the court to determine whether the defendant ought to have paid the prescribed compensation within 30 days after assessment of the land and crops in June 2021.
In addition, the plaintiff is also asking the court to mandate the defendant to pay the sum of N200 million as compensatory and punitive damages for redundancy, unnecessary delay, disappointment, loss of income among others. Another sum of N20 million is equally being demanded by the plaintiff as cost of litigation.
Meanwhile, the Originating Summons alleged that assessment and valuation of the economic crops carried out by the defendant in June 2021 summed up 2,497,500 stands of Rubber seedlings valued at N17,482,500,000 was due as compensation to the plaintiff. However, the NNPCL has remain elusive after the exercise hence the decision to seek legal redress.