UK Supreme Court rules Nigerian communities can sue Shell for decades of oil pollution

Members of the Ogale and Bille communities have been suffering health issues for years due to the oil pollution
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The UK Supreme Court ruled last week that two Niger Delta communities who suffered decades of environmental damage caused by Shell will be able to sue in English courts.

The Ogale and Bille communities of Nigeria are seeking justice for experiencing decades of pollution that impacted their environment and overall health conditions.

The communities of over 40,000 people finally gained the victory after a five-year battle when the supreme court reversed two earlier rulings that stopped the case from being brought to the UK.

According to the court, the cases against Royal Dutch Shell were arguable and could proceed in English courts

The communities have been suffering health issues due to the oil spills in the area. Image courtesy of George Osodi / Bloomberg News.

Shell did not argue against the pollution being caused, but did dispute that it could not be held legally responsible for its Nigerian subsidiary, according to BBC.

Shell is accountable for approximately 50% of the delta oil production, and according to an interview with the BBC, Celestine Akpobari, an environmental activist, said that “things are getting worse by the day.”

Oil spills in the communities have impacted the lives of the population living there, and it is unclear how long it will take to clean up the area and fix the damage that has been done.

Akpobari told BBC that the communities can no longer farm or fish due to the devastation caused by the oil spills, adding that many are dying and becoming ill from the pollution.

The court ruling provides some hope for the community members.

Wiki Production Code: A0637

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