“Supreme Court says there should be no bids, no sales until the hearing of the applications which has been fixed for November 3, 2022.” – Host Community
“The Supreme Court ruling on 16 June was with respect to the contempt proceedings and not related to (the) onshore portfolio review.”- Shell spokesman
Royal Dutch Shell and 88 host communities in Nigeria have bickered over Supreme Court’s latest injuction.
While lawyer to the communities said that the apex Court has, through the injuction, upheld a lower court ruling that stopped Shell from selling its assets in Nigeria until a dispute between the oil major and a Niger Delta community over a 2019 oil spill is resolved, the oil major argued that the injuction has nothing to do with its assets sale.
Bamidele Odugbesan, spokesman for Shell in Nigeria, said the June 16 Supreme Court ruling was in response to an appeal launched by Shell against a contempt ruling linked to the dispute with the Niger Delta community.
“The Supreme Court ruling on 16 June was with respect to the contempt proceedings and not related to (the) onshore portfolio review,” Odugbesan said.
“Shell, which also denied causing the spill, appealed the compensation verdict and the ruling blocking the sale of its assets. The company then went on to advertise for bids for the assets after filing an appeal,” the Mohammed Ndarani, the laywer representing the Delta communities argued.
The Supreme Court, in a ruling dated June 16, he continued, said the parties should ‘maintain the status quo’ until a hearing of all applications from Shell and the communities later this year.
‘What the status quo means here is that there should be no bids, no sales until the hearing of the applications which has been fixed for November 3, 2022,’ Mohammed Ndarani, the laywer representing the Delta communities told Reuters on Monday.
Shell wants to sell its stake in Nigeria’s onshore fields, where it has been active since the 1930s, as part of a global drive to reduce its carbon emissions.
The company, the most significant international oil major operating in Nigeria, has faced a string of court cases in the past over oil spills.
In April, Shell said the volume of crude oil spills caused by sabotage in the Delta more than doubled to 3,300 tonnes last year, a level last seen in 2016.