Shell, an international energy company, has agreed to pay €15 million compensation to three Nigerian farmers and their villages in the Niger Delta.
The farmers, with the help of the Friends of the Earth, Netherlands, and two Nigerian lawyers, Chima Williams and Channa Samkalden, had in 2007 initiated legal proceedings in the Hague over oil pollution in Goi, Oruma and Ikot Ada Udo.
The Dutch court in 2021 ordered Shell to pay the claimants compensation for the oil spills that took place in the villages between 2004 and 2007.
Goi is in Rivers; Oruma in Bayelsa, while Ikot Ada Udo is in Akwa Ibom state.
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In a statement yesterday issued in Benin, Edo State, Mr Philip Jakpor, spokesman of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), described the historic victory at the courts and the acceptance of Shell to do the needful as victory for all.
Jakpor said the company had also agreed to install a leak detection system to prevent oil spill.
Williams, counsel in the case and Executive Director, ERA/FoEN, said the resilience of the farmers and the communities was a model that would galvanise other impacted communities in the region and elsewhere.
He said, “Shell’s acceptance to pay compensation and install a leak detection system is both unprecedented and signals victory for all parties – the victims, environmental justice campaigners and Shell.
“Furthermore, if Shell can do this, it means that there is no hiding place for any corporate polluter, as they may run but cannot hide from the long arms of the law.”
One of the plaintiffs, Mr Eric Dooh, said the compensation would enhance a total transformation of the people, as well as reinvestment in the communities. (NAN)