Environmental Group Hails Dutch Court Verdict Against Shell On Bayelsa Spill Victims

LAGOS JANUARY 30TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has applauded the decision of a Dutch Court of Appeal in favour four Bayelsa farmers impacted by oil spills.

 Dutch court on Friday ordered the Nigerian subsidiary of Shell to pay compensation over oil spills in Bayelsa.

The Court of Appeal in The Hague  ruled that the Nigerian arm of the British-Dutch company should compensate the four farmers and a clean-up of pollution from leaking oil pipelines.

Four farmers from Oruma in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa dragged Shell to a Dutch court over a 2008 oil spill that adversely impacted their farms.

In a reaction to the judgement, Mr Chima Ubani, Executive Director at ERA/FoEN said the verdict was a relief to the environmental rights movement .

 “Today’s decisions will determine whether or not transnational companies will be obliged to respond in a swift and positive way when environmental complaints are made from their host country. 

 “This case has taken so long that two claimants are no longer alive. But the problems caused by the immense oil spill from Shell’s pipelines have still not been resolved after 13 years. It hurts that this can happen. 

 “The court has set a new standard that will give hope to ordinary citizens that no matter how powerful a company is, there will always be a day of reckoning.” Chima said.

Meanwhile Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) said it was disappointed by the verdict insisting that the incident in question was caused by sabotage.

 Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, Media Relations Manager of SPDC said in a statement on Friday that most leaks from its operations were caused by vandals.

 “We continue to believe that the spills in Oruma and Goi were the result of sabotage. We are therefore disappointed that this court has made a different finding on the cause of these spills and in its finding that SPDC is liable.

 “Sabotage, crude oil theft and illegal refining are a major challenge in the Niger Delta. 

 “Indeed in 2019 around 95% of spill incidents from our operations there were due to such criminal acts. 

 “Regardless of cause, we clean up and remediate, as we have done with the spills in this case. 

 “SPDC also works with a range of stakeholders to find solutions to these complex issues. Like all Shell-operated ventures globally, we are committed to operating safely and protecting the local environment.” Odugbesan said. 

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Posted by on Jan 30 2021. Filed under Business, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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