Two separate oil spills from a Shell facility occurred in 2004 and 2008, polluting several fishing communities in the Niger Delta.
Four fishermen from the impacted villages of Ikot Ada Udo, in Akwa Ibom state; Goi in Rivers state, and Oruma in Bayelsa State sued Shell in the Netherlands.
In this case of four fishermen/farmers and Milieudefensie vs. Royal Dutch Shell and Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, re-lief sought included a declaration of Shell liability to the spills and destruction of fishponds being the source of income for the litigants.
But the international court on Friday ordered Shell to clean up the polluted communities and restore the livelihoods of the affected victims.
The Court was, however, silent on the case of Ikot Ada Udo, in Akwa Ibom State because of the “unclarity of the facts”.
The judgement which was monitored virtually from Port Harcourt by DAILY POST comes after 13 years of painstaking litigation where Goi community in Ogoni, Rivers State and Oruma Community in Bayelsa State dragged Royal Dutch Shell to Court in 2008.
The communities sought the intervention of the court after several failed attempts to bring Shell to book in Nigerian Courts.
They sought a declaratory judgement for clean up and compensation for loss of fishing ponds, income and livelihoods, and preventive measures to stop oil spills from Shell’s aged pipelines from destroying their farmlands and fishponds in the future.
Acting Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action, Chima Williams said Shell should obey the order of the Court, pay compensation to the affected communities and end all litigations regarding the matter.
Williams also said the Hague will calculate the compensation claims payable by Royal Dutch Shell to the affected victims.
“Today, history has been made following a landmark ruling concerning oil spillage in the Niger-Delta. Shell has been held liable for the destruction caused in Oruma community in Bayelsa and Goi in Rivers as a result of the spillage that caused destruction on the fish ponds, farmlands and livelihoods of citizens.
“The Court also charged the parent company, Royal Dutch Shell and the daughter, SPDC to ensure that no further spillage occurs in those communities.
“On Ikot Ada Udo in Akwa Ibom, the Court did not make any order because the court wants further information and evidence on the incident at the community.
“This is a day that has given back hope to all Niger-Deltans who have been under the jackboot of multinational companies. Most of the cases we have had in Nigerian Courts have failed to hold multinational companies accountable for all the environmental crimes in Nigeria.
“With the judgement of today, a global standard has been set that the oil companies will not only be held accountable but will also be reprimanded and held not to take steps that will affect the livelihoods of poor citizens.
“Shell that has been above the Law in Nigeria has been held accountable in their own country, the Netherlands. They cannot fight this judgement,” Willaims said.
The court sitting in The Hague had ruled in an appeal against Shell in December 2015 that the company has a case to answer over its human rights violations in Nigeria.
Buhari’s successor must be Yoruba Muslim – Islamic group vows
The group wondering why no single Yoruba Muslim has ever ruled Nigeria since independence to date, argued that all Yoruba that have occupied the position have been Christians all along.
MURIC’s argument is contained in a statement issued by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Friday, contending that Yoruba Muslims have been at the receiving end of political and religious persecution for too long.
It said in the interest of fairness and equity, it’s time to allow a Yoruba Muslim occupy Nigeria’s number one seat come 2023.
MURIC argued that even on the state level, Muslims in the South West have suffered marginalisation in the appointment of Commissioners and other political positions by Governors of Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo and Ogun.
“Are Yoruba Muslims third class or second class citizens? Are we not equal before the law?
“It is our strong belief that the narrative will only change when a Yoruba Muslim occupies Aso Rock. Who feels it knows it,” MURIC said.
“Yorubas have been heads of state, president and vice president but all those who got there have always been Christians.
“So we have had three Christians of Yoruba extraction in Aso Rock at different times. It is therefore natural to ask why there hasn’t been any Yoruba Muslim politician in Aso Rock all these years, particularly from 1979 to date?
“President Buhari’s tenure ends in 2023 and the South West is already warming up. Will it still be fair for another Christian from the South West to occupy Aso Rock come 2023?
“Our message to all political parties is loud and clear. Yoruba Muslims will not support any non-Muslim presidential candidate put forward by any political party. To our brothers in the North, we call for solidarity for a Yoruba Muslim presidential candidate from any political party,” he said.
Senate confirms Abdulrasheed Bawa as EFCC chairman
The 40-year-old Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist was screened by the lawmakers at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly today February 24.
Last week, President Buhari nominated Bawa and asked the Senate to confirm him as the substantive Chairman of the Commission.
He assumes office as the first core EFCC official and non-police officer to head the agency.
Bawa also became the youngest person ever to serve as chairman of the anti-corruption agency.
10 dead, 47 injured in fresh Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri
Ten persons have been confirmed dead and 47 others injured in the fresh attack carried out by Boko Haram members in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital on Tuesday night, February 23.
The insurgents stormed the city launching 10 rockets. Among the dead were nine boys playing football at Gwange, when rockets landed in the area.
The state governor, Babagana Zulum, last night visited the hospital where the dead and the injured were evacuated shortly after the incident occurred. He was told that 10 people were killed in the explosions that rocked the city and 47 others injured.
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