Niger Delta looses pollution claims against Shell in Uk

A British court ruled in favour of Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell on Thursday in a case brought by more than 40,000 Niger Delta residents over spills in the region.

The court agreed with Shell’s argument that the high-profile case should be heard in Nigeria, while the claimants had argued that justice could only be gotten in British courts.

Two communities, Bille and Ogale had in May 2015, through their United Kingdom solicitors, Leigh Day, sued Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited for oil spill, and also filed claims against RDS as an “anchor defendant” to bring the claims in England.

The sued companies, however, challenged the jurisdiction of the English court to hear the claims.

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While delivering Judgement on Thursday, the judge rejected Leigh Day’s claim that the RDS owed a duty of care to the claimants allegedly impacted by SPDC, and consequently that there was no anchor defendant for the case against SPDC to be brought in England.

The ruling opens the door for the aggrieved communities to pursue their case in Nigeria.