29 January 2013

Nigeria: Dutch Court to Rule On Shell-Nigeria Pollution Case

Dutch court will rule on the Shell-Nigeria pollution case tomorrow as analysts believe the case could open the door to more compensation claims against international companies.

According to Ghana Business which first featured the report, this is the first time in Dutch history that victims from Shell's host countries have pursued a civil liability claim in the country where Shell has its Headquarters, the Netherlands.

In October 2012, four Nigerian villagers took Royal Dutch Shell to court in a landmark pollution case. The fishermen and farmers, together with Friends of the Earth, Netherlands, accused the Anglo-Dutch oil company of polluting land and waterways around their homes in the Niger Delta region.

According to the director of the Dutch Friends of the Earth, Geert Ritsema, Shell should be held responsible for the pollution of the Niger Delta region.

"The pipeline network of Shell in Nigeria is in a very poor state. The company does not properly maintain its pipelines. This is the root course for around 250 spills per year. Together, the amount of oil that has been spilled by Shell over the years is twice as much as has been spilled in the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, " he told reporters.

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