The host community of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) in Bonny, Rivers State, has dragged the oil company to a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, seeking the firm to pay them N20billion proceeds accruing to the people of the people as allegedly agreed with them.
The community, Founding and Aboriginal Royal Houses of Bonny Kingdom, also included in the suit; Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Corporate Affairs Commission, Federal Ministry of Petroleum, as well as the Rivers State Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs, among others.
In the motion before Justice Phoebe Ayua, the community stated that the defendants have allegedly refused to pay the said accrued proceeds for the community people.
At the mention of the case in court on Tuesday, counsel for the Bonny community, Ikpe Imeh, said he filed an application seeking the leave of the court to serve all parties in the matter through substituted means.
Reacting to the application, counsel for NLNG in the matter, Elechi Sunday, challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit and urged the court to hear their expartee motion first before hearing the applicants motion.
Sunday also stressed that he was not opposing the motion as sought by the claimant’s lawyer but that his expertee motion be heard first.
However, the presiding Judge, Justice Phoebe Ayua after hearing the arguments by both lawyers, granted the application of the Founding Royal Houses of Bonny Kingdom to serve all parties through substituted means.
Justice Ayua adjourned the case till January 17, 2022, for hearing of the motion.
Speaking with newsmen at the court premises, counsel for the claimants, Imeh, disclosed that his clients are in court to seek justice for the alleged inability of NLNG and Shell to fulfil their Corporate Social Responsibilities.