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High Court dismisses application by people in the Niger Delta to bring action against Shell in the UK

The High Court has ruled that 42,000 people in the Niger Delta affected by oil pollution cannot proceed with a legal challenge in the UK against Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary.

Shell has been responsible for oil spills in the Niger Delta.  The UN’s Environment Programme UNEP researched the destruction and produced a report in 2011.  It found that Shell had not taken sufficient action to clean up and set out initial steps to rectify the damage. 

Shell denied liability and had argued that the challenge should be heard in a Nigerian court.  King Okpabi, leader of the Ogale community stated last year that, ‘Shell is Nigeria and Nigeria is Shell.  You can never, never defeat Shell in a Nigerian court.  The truth is that the Nigerian legal system is corrupt.’

This means that the matter will have to be dealt with by a Nigerian Court.  However, the communities intend to appeal the matter to the Court of Appeal.

Read The Guardian newspaper article here.

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