Shell has agreed to pay approximately 95 million euros to communities in southern Nigeria for crude leaks in 1970, according to the corporation and the community’s lawyer on Wednesday.
The verdict is the latest in a series involving OPEC member Nigeria’s oil-producing south, where local populations have long battled legal fights over oil spills and environmental damage.
“The order for payment of 45.9 billion naira ($111 million, 94.9 million euros) to the claimants is for complete and final satisfaction of the judgment,” stated a local representative for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria.
The ruling was confirmed by lawyer Lucius Nwosu, who represents the Ejama-Ebubu community in Rivers State.
“They ran out of tricks and chose to settle,” the lawyer explained. “The ruling vindicates the community’s tenacity in seeking justice.”
The business claimed that the spills were caused by third parties during Nigeria’s 1967-1970 civil war, when oil pipelines and equipment were severely damaged.
“It confirms our concerns about Shell’s environmental devastation of Ogoni and the necessity for proper land remediation,” the MOSOP organization for the local Ogoni people responded.
After a 13-year legal struggle, a Dutch court ordered Shell to compensate Nigerian farmers for spills that damaged much of their land in the Niger Delta.
Shell was ordered by the court to compensate three of the four farmers who filed the action in 2008. The litigation has dragged on for so long that two Nigerian farmers have died since it was filed.