Pipeline Explosion: Group Files N3.215bn Suit Against NNPC
The N3.215 billion suit filed by a non-profit organization, Access to Justice (A2J), against the Nigeria National Corporation (NNPC) over the Ossisioma Ngwa pipeline explosion has been fixed for 25th February, 2020 for hearing.
No fewer than 88 affected members of the Ossisioma Ngwa community, in Abia State had dragged the Pipelines Products Marketing Company (PPMC), NNPC and the Federal Government before the Abia State High Court, Ossisioma, claiming N3 billion as exemplary and aggravated damages.
The plaintiffs are also claiming N15 million as special damages against the Defendants, as well as N1.2 billion as general damages to alleviate the unqualifiable physical, emotional, psychological trauma and agony the claimants have suffered following the pipeline fire explosions, owing to alleged deliberate and/or negligent acts of the Defendant.
A2J stated that since that incident, nothing has been published concerning that tragic event, either by the NNPC, PPMC or the Federal Government, alleging that the parties have failed to treat the matter.
The plaintiff said that it filed the case on behalf of some of the affected families of the victims of the pipeline explosions, through its counsel Joseph Otteh and Daniel Aloaye.
The lawsuit alleges that the oil companies were complicit and negligent in the series of events that led to the pipeline explosions that caused large-scale devastation to those communities following the pipeline explosions.
The accident occurred in October 2018, when a system 2E petroleum pipeline belonging to the NNPC and managed by its subsidiary, the PPMC, caught fire and exploded in the Ossisioma Ngwa community of Abia State, resulting in fire which reportedly burnt and destroyed several human/animal lives and properties in the community.
On October 20th 2018, President Buhari, through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, issued a statement claiming that the explosions were likely caused by suspected oil thieves.