Tens of thousands of Nigerian fishermen and farmers are suing multinational oil giant Shell in two new lawsuits filed on March 2, 2016 in a British High Court, alleging that decades of uncleaned oil spills have destroyed their lives. London law firm Leigh Day & Co. is representing them after winning an unprecedented $83.5 million in damages from Shell in a landmark ruling by the same court last year. Shell originally offered villagers $50,000.
In a statement on March 2, 2016 before the trial opened, Shell blamed sabotage and oil theft for the ongoing pollution and noted it had halted oil production in 1993 in Ogoniland, the area where the two communities are located in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern Niger Delta. Shell said it will challenge the jurisdiction of the British court.
The Ogoni are among the most traumatized of millions of Nigerians suffering oil pollution since the late 1950s….
Excerpts from MICHELLE FAUL, Nigerians sue Shell in UK court for oil spills contamination, Associated Press, Mar. 2, 2016