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Dutch Court Oders Compensation To Nigeria For Oil Spill

A Dutch court has ordered the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to pay compensation for the oil spill in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

The court found SPDC liable for damages from pipeline leaks in the 2 villages of Oruma and Goi and will decide the amount of compensation later.

According to a report from Aljazeera, the Court of Appeal in The Hague on Friday ruled that the Nigerian arm of the British-Dutch oil company, which has its headquarters in the Netherlands, must pay compensation over a long-running civil case involving 4 Nigerian farmers seeking compensation, and a cleanup, from the company over pollution caused by leaking oil pipelines.

The court did not specify how many of the 4 farmers would receive compensation for the oil spillage.

Although the court did not indict Royal Dutch Shell as being directly responsible for the oil spillage, it, however, ordered it to install a leak detection system on the Oruma pipeline, the site of a significant number of the spills in the case.

The court in its ruling said, “Shell Nigeria is sentenced to compensate farmers for damages.’’ The ruling can be appealed via the Dutch Supreme Court.

This recent ruling could rise to many more cases against the Nigerian subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell over its operations in the country.

This is the first time a company and its foreign subsidiary have been tried in the Netherlands for allegedly being negligent abroad and could have far-reaching implications for future legal actions against oil firms.

The Dutch branch of Friends of the Earth, one of the groups that initiated this legal action, tweeted, ‘’Tears of Joy her. After 13 years, we’ve won.’

 

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