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NNPC sued for deadly Lagos inferno

28 May 2014, 15:37

Lagos - The relatives of victims of the petroleum pipeline fire disaster that occurred in Ijegun, Lagos have filed a N87.4 billion suit against the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Over 40 people reportedly died in the inferno which destroyed several vehicles, shops and houses in 2008.

Although the Lagos State Government has compensated some of the victims, NNPC and relatives of the victims had been unable to reach any settlement concerning the appropriate amount for compensation.

Irked by the protracted negotiation, one of the relative of the victims, Rev Olaseni Soewu, has instituted the suit before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The Pipeline and Petroleum Marketing Company Ltd and Hitech Construction Company Ltd are co-defendants for alleged negligence in carrying out their construction work.

Soewu averred that as personal representative of one of the victims of the Ijegun pipeline fire disaster and oil spillage, he was familiar with facts of the case and that Hitech, while carrying out construction work as an agent instructed by the Lagos State Government attempted to excavate soil but negligently rupture a pipeline belonging to  NNPC and PPMC conveying Petroleum product, thereby leading to an out bust and spillage of petrol which resulted to fire outbreak.

Soewe alleged that the explosion was caused by the negligence of the defendants in laying the pipeline in the area without complying with the international best practice and standard which provide that pipeline must be buried at 2.5 metres deep and also to be covered with concrete slab.

He alleged that drivers of Hitech bulldozer were dully informed and warned of existence of pipeline in the area where they were excavating but failed to heed to  the warning.

The matter has been slated for hearing next month.

- CAJ News

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