The Aghoro community in Ekeremor local council area of Bayelsa State, where massive spill occurred on Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Trans Ramos pipeline in May 2018, has raised the alarm that the oil company is making efforts to tinker with the process of investigating.
Foruebi Akene, the principal surveyor contracted by community to carry out data on impacted areas, alleged that the Shell country director, on six occasions, halted the process of survey measures on joint investigation on the real damage caused by the spillage, and was trying to avoid paying compensation.
He said: “They are now even frustrating the efforts of the regulating agencies in the country, which implies that they are above the law of the land (Nigeria) in which they operate. We have just been informed that SPDC has declined to go for the joint post impact survey and assessment scheduled for November 7, 2018, coordinated by National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) on the instruction of their Country Director, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, who is incidentally a Nigerian and from the Niger Delta also. This is the sixth time the SPDC have done this at the last hour.
“Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the unending oppression against the host communities, the continued perpetration of environmental injustice and human rights abuse against the people of the host communities has reached an alarming rate with particular reference to the crude oil spillage that occurred around the Aghoro section of the Trans Ramos Pipeline."
The spill occurred on May 17, 2018 and nothing has been done till date. The spill has posed grave damage to soil and aquatic life in the community.