Bayelsa Community Takes Agip's ENI To Italian Court, Seeks Compensati

 Bayelsa Community Takes Agip's ENI To Italian Court, Seeks Compensati

The coastal community of Ikebiri in Southern Ijaw Local Council Area of Bayelsa State has taken ENI, the parent company of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to an Italian court seeking compensation for oil spill.

The Head of Legal Resources at Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) Mr. Chima Williams disclosed this in a statement.

Supporting the suit is the monarch of Ikebiri community, Francis Temi Ododo, who is represented by Luca Saltalamacchia.

They are seeking a thorough cleanup of the community and a compensation of two million Euros for the pollution of the environment.

According to the Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Godwin Uyi Ojo: "We feel that this case should set the stage for other communities that were equally impacted by ENI's operations to serve as a deterrent to Agip/ENI and other oil companies."

Williams disclosed that ERA/FoEN would also offer legal support services to the community alongside their European counterpart.

Ojo said: "This is the first case of its kind against the Italian oil giant after years of exploitation in the Niger Delta. The ENI's negligence and its subsidiary, NAOC, had left the Ikebiri community to suffer in the last seven years."

He stressed that the pollution had lasted for so long and destroyed their fishing and farming activities.

Ojo also disclosed that the company must pay them adequate compensation, instead of the N4.5 it offered to them, because "NAOC agreed before a joint inspection visit that 'equipment failure' caused the spill."

The Media Relations Officer, Exploration, Upstream and Technical Activities unit at ENI, Marilia Cioni, has acknowledged the litigation in a response to e-mail.

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