Four Nigerian farmers sue Shell..Shell rejects liability claim
Four Nigerian farmers take on Shell in a Dutch court on Thursday, accusing the oil giant of destroying their livelihoods in a case that could set a precedent for global environmental responsibility.
The civil suit, backed by lobby group Friends of the Earth, alleges that oil spills dating back to 2005 by the Anglo-Dutch company made fishing and farming in the plaintiffs’ Niger Delta villages impossible.
The case was initially filed in 2008, demanding that Royal Dutch Shell clean up the mess, repair and maintain defective pipelines to prevent further damage and pay out compensation.
In a landmark ruling, the Dutch judiciary in 2009 declared itself competent to try the case despite protests from Shell that its Nigerian subsidiary was solely legally responsible for any damage.
“I inherited the fishponds from my late father. I lost my income due to the oil spill. Now we are struggling to make ends meet,” plaintiff Fidelis Oguru, the head of Oruma village, was quoted as saying by Friends of the Earth.
Oil pollution has ravaged swathes of the Niger Delta in the world’s eighth largest oil producer, which exports more than two million barrels a day.
Shell is the biggest producer in the west African country, where it has been drilling for over 50 years.
The Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has rejected claims by four Nigerian farmers that it should pay compensation for damage to their land.
The farmers are suing the company in a civil court in The Hague, claiming oil spills ruined their livelihoods.
Shell’s lawyers told the court it could not be held liable because most spills were caused by criminal damage.
They said repairs were hard to carry out because of insecurity in the Niger Delta.
Shell lawyer Jan de Bie Leuveling Tjeenk told the court that sabotage and oil theft were widespread in the region.
The case is being brought against Shell by the farmers and the Dutch arm of the environmental group Friends of the Earth.
why does it have to be the NGO’s who support cases like this?..why wouldnt the nigerian government help? as it is you will be holding your breath for decades waiting for compensation or an apology..