Nigerian Farmers Lose Shell Oil Spill Court Battle
By Toyin Owoseje | January 30, 2013 11:34 PM EST
A group of Nigerian farmers who sued oil giant Shell for polluting villages in the Niger Delta region have lost their landmark case in The Hague Civil Court.
The four villagers from Goi, Oruma and Ikot Ada Udo had accused the Dutch company of environmental mismanagement, which they claimed led to leaking pipelines poisoning fish ponds and farmland.
The farmers insisted that as a result of oil spills, their crops and fish-farms were damaged and their livelihoods destroyed.
One plaintiff, Friday Alfred Akpan, told the BBC: "Fish died as a result of the oil spill, making it difficult for me to live and put my children through school."
Shell denied all charges, insisting that more than half the leaks were caused by theft and sabotage.
The suit was first filed in 2008 by the farmers and Friends of the Earth in the Netherlands, where Shell has its global headquarters.
An earlier Dutch court ruling accepted Shell's assertion that the leaks were caused by sabotage but the farmers returned to court in 2012 in a bid to have the judgment overturned.
Shell has now been acquitted of most of the charges brought against after the court ruled that the company did not breach its duty of care and that the damage was not due to poor maintenance of its facilities. The case involved five allegations of environmental mismanagement abroad, and four of these were thrown out by the court.
"Shell Nigeria should and could have prevented this sabotage in an easy way," the ruling said. "This is why the district court has sentenced Shell Nigeria to pay damages to the Nigerian plaintiff."
Both sides have three months to appeal.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
Join the Conversation
- Video Showing Mentally Disabled African American Shot 46 Times By Eight Police Officers For Just Holding A Penknife
- Brisbane Woman Performs Sex With Dog, Gets Charged With Bestiality
- Kate Middleton Pregnancy Update: Duchess Forced To Return To Royal Engagements, Feuding With The Queen Over Royal Duties---Report
- Google Loses Lawsuit Against Canadian Woman Over Breast Exposure
- Robbery Attempt in Sydney Bank, Armed Robbers on The Loose
- NATO: Russia's Been Conducting Too Many Military Flights Over Europe
- Nokia Lumia 730 v. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Motorola Droid Turbo: Comparsion On Processor, Software And Battery
- Moto X 2014 vs. Motorola DROID Turbo - Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Australia Special Forces Await 'Delayed' Iraqi Visas Before Joining ISIS Fight
- ISIS Has Been Equipped With Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Motorola Droid Turbo – S-Pen Is Note’s 4 USP But Droid Turbo Can Outshine With Larger Battery