Niger Delta Villagers Lose Oil Spill Case Against Shell
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A British court has ruled that some Nigerian villagers from the Niger Delta cannot institute a legal action against oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell, in the United Kingdom for an alleged offence committed in Nigeria.
At the ruling on Thursday, the court held that the two groups of Nigerian villagers cannot sue the oil company in London.
Royal Dutch Shell was sued by the villagers over oil spill allegations in Nigeria.
Residents of Bille and Ogale communities had claimed that they were affected by pollution allegedly caused by the firm.
But in its ruling, the court held 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.
The court advised the claimants to seek redress at the Nigerian courts, pointing out that “there is simply no connection whatsoever between this jurisdiction and the claims brought by the claimants, who are Nigerian citizens, for breaches of statutory duty and/or in common law for acts and omissions in Nigeria, by a Nigeria company.”