Nigerians lose bid to sue oil giant Shell


The High Court said the claimants should be able to use Nigerian courts, while the claimants maintain that Nigeria courts are not advanced enough to hear the case.

Igo Weli, SPDC's general manager for external relations, said: "The court rightly decided these claims should be dealt with by the Nigerian courts and confirmed longstanding principles of corporate law, which are critically important for multinational companies headquartered in the United Kingdom". "This is a deeply depressing reminder of the impunity enjoyed by powerful corporations, and a blow to other communities in the Niger Delta who are still awaiting justice", Westby said.

In 2015, Shell agreed to an $84m (£55m) settlement with residents of the Bodo community in the Niger Delta for two oil spills.

Legal firm Leigh Day, representing the claimants, called it a "very surprising decision".

Lawyers for the claimants are demanding action from Shell to clean up spills that have devastated their communities for decades, but the multinational argues that the claims should be heard in Nigeria.Bottled water samples stand on a table as Nigerian tribal king Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi speaks during an interview in central London on November 21, 2016.

This comes just days Shell won the UK High Court battle on Niger Delta pollution claims.

The court ruled that Shell, as the parent company, does not have legal responsibility for its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), which is jointly operated with the Nigerian government.

"It is shocking that Shell is trying to deny it is responsible for its 100% owned subsidiary". There is no hope of justice in the Nigerian courts.

A British court has blocked Nigerian villagers' attempt to sue oil giant Shell for allegedly polluting their fishing waters and farmland.

The Nigerian government has seized control of a huge offshore oilfield from Royal Dutch Shell and Eni while it investigates alleged corruption in how the companies acquired it.

"Today's judgment in the London courts has upheld the principle that local courts in Nigeria should resolve this issue", said David Elmes, course director of the Warwick Business School's Global Energy Research Network.

"Both Bille and Ogale are areas heavily impacted by crude oil theft, pipeline sabotage and illegal refining, which remain the main sources of pollution across the Niger Delta".

The second claim was brought on behalf of the 40,000 members of the Ogale Community, who say they have suffered repeated oil spills since at least 1989.