After a 13-year struggle, Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it will pay €95 million (£80.4 million/$111.6 million) to communities in southern Nigeria.
The compensation is for crude oil leaks that occurred in 1970.
The ruling is the latest in a series of judicial disputes over oil spills and environmental damage in Nigeria’s oil-producing south-south, where communities have long fought legal battles.
On Wednesday, a local representative for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria said, “The order for the payment of [$111m] to the claimants is for full and final fulfilment of the judgment.”
The ruling was confirmed by Lucius Nwosa, a lawyer for the Ejama-Ebubu community in Rivers state.
The lawyer stated, “They ran out of tricks and decided to come to terms.” “The verdict is a validation of the community’s unwavering commitment to justice.”
The business claimed that the spills were caused by third parties during Nigeria’s civil war in 1967-70 when oil pipelines and equipment were severely damaged.
In response, the MOSOP organization for the local Ogoni people said, “It is a confirmation of the issues we have raised regarding Shell’s environmental devastation of Ogoni and the need for adequate land repair.”
After the judgement in the Hague, Donald Pols, director of Milieudefensie, an environmental group, comments.
A Dutch court ordered Shell to compensate Nigerian farmers for leaks that damaged much of their land in the Niger Delta after a 13-year legal struggle.
Shell was ordered by the court to compensate three of the four farmers who filed the lawsuit in 2008. Two Nigerian farmers have died since the case was first filed because it has gone on for so long.