Court awards N10.6m damages against NNPC


‎An Abuja Federal High Court on Monday awarded N10.6m damages against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for unlawfully blocking part of the highway in front of its Corporate Headquarters in Abuja.

The court ruled that the development led to a motor accident.

The amount was awarded in favour of a veteran journalist, His Royal Highness, Eze Geo Anika, whose Peugeot 406 with registration number, DP 41 EKY, was damaged in 2012 as a result of the unlawful blockage.

The accident happened before the retirement of Anika, former judicial editor of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, now the monarch of Ata Kingdom in the Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State.

Delivering judgment, Justice Babatunde Quadiri agreed with the plaintiff that the NNPC was negligent in blocking the highway without road signs as required by law.

He held that the claims of the plaintiff regarding the accident and the documents tendered to support his claims were not faulted by the NNPC or its witnesses.‎

The Judge rejected the claim of the NNPC that the Federal Government through the National Security Adviser was responsible for the placing of the concrete barriers around the NNPC towers without road signs.

According to him, “throughout the proceedings, no single witness was invited to substantiate the claim.”

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Justice Quadri also rejected another claim by the NNPC that recklessness and speeding on the part of the plaintiff was responsible for t‎he accident.

‎The judge awarded N5.1m in favour of the Anika as the cost of the damaged vehicle, another N5m as special damages and N500,000 as the cost of litigation.

The former FRCN journalist had dragged the NNPC to court for illegally blocking the highways around its Abuja headquarters without notifications or road signs or warnings.‎

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