A group of community leaders under the auspices of Ejemah Ebube community in Ogoni-Rivers State had made a deliberate threat to shut all operations of the Firstbank in Nigeria over their refusal to pay the court awarded fine by Shell development Oil Company for environmental pollutions and desecrating their fathers land. The awarded money was said to amount to sum of over N182, Billion by the supreme court final judgement for the past three years.
According to one of the group leaders, he said the case had been under litigation since 1970 that the supreme court of the federation had given final judgement since 2019, at where sum of N182,768,696,661,89 was awarded to be paid to the aforementioned community,the awarded fund is for damages and special damages on the environmental desecrations and pollutions of the concerned community lands and environment.
This call was made at a conference where the leader of the group stated Firstbank acted as the mother-bank, guarantors, Surety and intermediary for Shell development Oil Company to pay the said amount if Shell could not obliged the payment.
He said further, "each time we approach Firstbank for the payment,the bank always promised the community to wait from one end of the month to another,that the last promise they made with them this November was till middle of the month,that is,15th November 2023. He unequivocally added the money was said to have been paid to Firstbank by Shell Oil company for past three years,that the bank had been trading with the money making untold interest on it hitherto.
Aside from interest made on it by Firstbank,the principal amount awarded is to be paid before 48hours ultimatum or else the community is battle ready to shut down all Firstbank operations and that of Shell development Oil Company completely.
The group thereby made a clarion call to federal government under leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a loving and responsible father to intervene as a matter of urgency in the case or else First Bank and Shell Oil company would be shut down completely and further action be taken on them by the aggrieved communities in Rivers State.