Nigeria: UK court blocks Nigerian court’s oil spill damages order against Shell as communities renew battle

A UK court blocked a Nigerian court’s oil spill damages award against Shell on Thursday as the award claim had been registered in the UK which meant that the UK courts could enforce the award against Shell.  The UK judge Jason Coppel set aside the registration on Thursday, thus preventing UK courts from enforcing the award. A lawyer for the Nigerian community told Bloomberg they would appeal the UK court’s decision, while a Shell spokesman said that the supermajor continues to believe that “no payment was due” in the case that is still being tried in Nigerian courts.

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Article
10 December 2019

Nigeria: Communities to continue battle against Shell on oil spill damages despite major setback

Author: Adeole Yusuf, New Telegraph (Nigeria)

‘Oil spill: Shell, Niger Delta community renew battle over $516m compensation’ 9 December 2019

The nine-year-old legal tussle between Royal Dutch Shell and Ejama-Ebubu community, a Niger Delta community, over $516 million compensation for an oil spill half a century ago degenerated at the weekend. While Shell is holding on to a judgment by a court in the United Kingdom, people of the community are waiting for the outcome of a similar case in Nigeria’s Supreme Court slated for hearing next month.

… A further hearing is due to take place in January. Thursday’s case originated from a claim brought in 2001 by the Ejama-Ebubu community. Royal Dutch Shell, a report won a UK ruling preventing London courts from enforcing a $516million Nigerian judgment for damages caused by an oil spill half a century ago. Judge Jason Coppel on Thursday overturned an attempt to carry over a 2010 ruling by a Nigerian court to the UK, saying that those proceedings were unfair because Shell was denied an opportunity to present a defence. Shell’s Nigerian units have been beset by lawsuits, many of them in UK courts, for their part in oil spills on the Niger Delta.

… “Thursday’s judgment sets aside the registration, preventing its enforcement in the UK Nicholas Ekhorutomwen, a lawyer for that Ejama-Ebubu community, said they were “disappointed” with the decision and would appeal,” Bloomberg reported yesterday.

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Article
10 December 2019

Nigeria: UK court rules that Nigerian communities cannot pursue Shell in UK courts over oil spills

Author: Tsvetana Paraskova, Oil Price

‘Shell Wins Oil Spill Court Case Against Nigeria’ 5 December 2019

Shell has won a court ruling that blocks the enforcement of more than a half a billion dollars for damages against the oil supermajor in a decade-old oil spill case in Nigeria, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.   A Nigerian court ruled back in 2010 that Shell was liable for an oil spill in the Ejama-Ebubu community in 2001, and awarded the sum plus interest to the community. Shell, which has fought several lawsuits over oil spills in the Niger Delta in the 1990s and early 2000s, has also sought to have the cases transferred to Nigerian courts instead of in UK courts.

Shell and its Nigerian unit have also been dragged through the courts over the supermajor’s alleged complicity in abuses of human rights in Nigeria’s military suppressing protests in the oil-rich Niger Delta in the 1990s, especially in the Ogoniland area.  In early 2018, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that Nigerian communities cannot pursue Shell in UK courts over oil spills in the oil-rich Niger Delta, upholding a previous High Court ruling that UK-based multinational companies cannot be tried in England for the actions of their subsidiaries overseas.

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