Court Dismisses Energy Firm’s Appeal

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by an energy production and distribution firm, NVT Power & Energy Ltd, against the judgment given in favour of about eight communities in Rivers State.
Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, in a ruling, ordered the dismissal of the appeal marked: SC/CV/849/2022 filed against the June 7, 2022 ruling of the Court of Appeal, Port-Harcourt striking out.

The apex court’s order dismissing the appeal, made on November 4, a certified true copy (CTC) of which was obtained on Friday, was sequel to an application by NVT Power for the withdrawal of the appeal.

The communities namely: Opu-Benibo Granville community; Orubibi Douglas community; Blackduke Oweredaba community; Ajumogobia -Bestman community; Oruwari community; Siri Young Jack community; Don-Pedro community, and Membere Community, all in Abonnema Kingdom, Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, being NVT’s host communities, had sued the firm in October 2020 at the High Court of Rivers State sitting in Port-Harcourt.

The communities had prayed the court to, among others, compel the firm to negotiate with them and “pay forthwith to their attorney/legal representative all agreed accruals, benefits and compensation that is due to the claimants communities by reason of the defendant’s activities, operations and facilities within the lands of the claimants communities.”
Parties later agreed to a terms of settlement, which Justice A. Enebeli adopted as the court’s consent judgment in the case June 2, 2020.

The terms of the settlement agreement was that the communities, “being independent, autonomous communities and the location of the defendant’s several facilities and activities, are entitled to participate and benefit directly from all accruals, rents, contracts, development and economic empowerment, compensation, environmental clean-up, scholarships and economic empowerment projects undertaken by all companies including the defendant for their host communities in Abonnema Kingdom in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State of Nigeria.”

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