Nigeria wins 13-year legal battle as court orders shell to pay $111.6m over oil spillage

A court ruling hands Nigeria $111.6M compensation in a 13-year legal battle with Shell, a subsidiary of British-Dutch multinational oil and gas company over a case filed against the company by affected communities.

Despite claims by shell that the spillage was caused by third parties, an earlier ruling by a Hague-based court on Friday, January 29th, 2021 held the firm liable for the spillage which damaged acres of farmlands in the Southern part of Nigeria.

This ruling did not come with the exact amount to be paid as compensation to the affected communities as the court reportedly promised that, “the amount to be paid as damages will be determined and disclosed later.”

A representative of Shell’s Nigerian branch confirmed the specified compensation. In reference to the current ruling, the spokesman said “the order for the payment of [$111m] to the claimants is for full and final satisfaction of the judgement,”

Commenting on the judgement, Lucius Nwosa, lawyer for Ejama-Ebubu community said “they ran out of tricks and decided to come to terms,” adding that, “the decision is a vindication of the resoluteness of the community for justice.”

The case was in contention in the Dutch court for 13 years since it was filed in 2008; reports indicate that, two out of the affected farmers have died. The spillages affected farmers from four villages such as Goi, Oruma and Ikot Ada Udo.

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