CAJ News Agency (Johannesburg)

20 June 2014

Nigeria: Court to Make Ruling On Bodo, Shell Lawsuit

Lagos — AMNESTY International, the rights group, is hopeful justice will prevail today in the lawsuit local communities brought against oil giant, Shell.

More than 15 000 Nigerians from the Bodo community in the Niger Delta lodged the lawsuit.

The community was devastated by two massive spills in 2008 and 2009 from a Shell pipeline.

Judgement will be handed today in London.

Amnesty International has been campaigning since 2009 for Shell to come clean on the environmental damage it has caused, which has destroyed livelihoods and jeopardised the health of thousands of people living near Shell's oil facilities in the Niger Delta.

“For more than five years the people of Bodo have been living day by day with the devastating consequences of these spills," said Joe Westby, Amnesty International's Corporate Accountability Campaigner.

“We hope Friday's judgment will pave the way - finally - to justice for the deprivations this community has had to suffer,” added Westby.

Ahead of judgement, lawyers have said this could be the “largest ever” environmental trial.

The case is the first time Shell has faced formal proceedings in the UK for its role in the Niger Delta pollution.

Shell is expected to argue that it was not responsible for ongoing pollution in Bodo.

The company claims it has done its best to clean up the area, but that there have since been other spills, caused by thieves attempting to siphon oil from the pipeline.

In its 2013 report, "Bad Information: Oil Spill Investigations in the Niger Delta," Amnesty International exposed much of Shell's claims on oil pollution in the region as “deeply suspect and often untrue.”

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