Shell accused of delay by Nigerians in oil spill lawsuit


Lawyers representing over 13,000 Nigerians said that Shell Plc is attempting to avoid scrutiny for contamination in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger-Delta. Shell vigorously contests the charges.

Thousands of residents from the towns of Bille and Ogale are suing Shell and Nigerian subsidiary SPDC for oil leaks.

Shell has rejected any liability and said that some claims were filed too late.

It said that illegal third-party action, such as pipeline sabotage and oil theft, was responsible for majority of spills.

The business has asked that the Supreme Court set a first trial to determine whether or not SPDC is accountable for oil spills due to third-party engagement in the first quarter of 2024.

According to Shell, two further trials might be conducted to assess the allegations against its subsidiary and Shell’s purported responsibility as the subsidiary’s parent company.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Richard Hermer said in court records that Shell’s proposal is “offered as a tool to shield (Shell) from scrutiny.”

Portions of this litigation stretch back to 2015, and the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom found in 2021 that the plaintiffs’ claim that Shell owed them a duty of care was credible.

Case could drag on till 2029

According to Hermer, a ruling on the case may not be made until 2029 if Shell’s plan is granted.

He highlighted that claims “cannot afford to continue for seven more years,” although defendants “can easily afford” to have them.

James Goldsmith, an attorney representing Shell, said that the claimants are responsible for the ongoing delays. He said they had not presented the court with appropriate information.

He highlighted that they were not attempting to prolong matters or seek outside assistance to get what they want.

The largest environmental damage is caused by oil leaks resulting from theft, illegal refining, and sabotage. SPDC is constantly being challenged with that according to a spokesman.


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