Judgement Day At The Hague - Niger Delta Fisherman/Farmers Vs. Shell Oil

By SaharaReporters, New York

Tomorrow in The Hague, four Nigerian farmers and fishermen will learn their fate arising from three oil spills in 2004, 2006 and 2008 in Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom States.  

In the dock are Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.  

The Plaintiffs are as follows:

Eric Barizaa, who is representing his deceased father, Chief Barizaa Dooh of Goi community in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State; the spill occurred in November 2004.

Alali Efanga of Oruma community in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State; the spill occurred in June 2006.

Fidelis Ayoro Oguru, also of Oruma community inOgbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State; from the spill of 2006.

Elder Friday Akpan of Ikot Ada Udo community in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of AkwaIbom State; the spill occurred in June 2008, and

Mlieudefensie/Friends of the Earth Netherlands.

They are asking the court to hold Shell liable for the oil spills in their three communities; to order Shell to maintain her pipelines to guarantee no more oil spills in the future; clean up the oil pollution in their communities; and pay adequate compensation to the farmers for the damages suffered as a result of the spills.

The case commenced in 2008.  In 2009, the issue of jurisdiction was determined in favour of the Plaintiffs, stating that the court in the Hague has the jurisdiction to hear the case.

According to our correspondent, “The issue of lispendis was equally determined in favour of the Plaintiffs in 2010 that the case in The Hague is not the same as the one in Nigeria in the case of Elder Friday Akpan of Ikot Ada Udo. However, in 2011, the application calling on Shell to open their books for inspection and copying by the Plaintiffs was decided in favour of the Defendants.

On October 11, 2012, the court entertained the full trial of the case in an open court, paving the way for judgment tomorrow, January 30, 2013.

Observers say the case is pivotal for oil spill and corporate responsibility cases in Nigeria.

According to Environmental Rights Action/Friends of Earth Nigeria, “This judgment is a vindication of the position ERA/FoEN has held and campaigned on over the years, that is - Shell in Nigeria has not been a good corporate citizen. It had engaged in double standards in her operational activities leaving her facilities unchecked and unattended to with the resultant effect being series of avoidable oil spills which are left  for months and years in some circumstances. We only hope that Shell will not deal with this judgment the way it deals with decisions of Nigerian courts where it picks and chose which judgments to comply with and those not to. We hope the strong arm of the Dutch law will compel Shell to abide by this decision."

9 comment(s)
Post a comment


The so called South South Nigeria has zero correlation coefficient with South East (Ibos). In the worst case scenerio of partitioning Nigeria along 6 geoplitical zones, the South-South will rather work in alliance with the present West than with the South-Eastern Ibos.Working with West will be more mutually beneficial than working with the South-eastern Ibo's. The real reason the Biafrans (Sout-Eastern Ibo's) lost the civil war in 1970 was because of their hegemonistic tedencies of trying to invade, conquer and acquire the South-South (Mid-West, Rivers etc). Ojukwu invaded Benin and appointed Major Chukwuma Okonkwo as Administrator that was why Davis Ejoor rode Bicycle to Lagos to get help. I do not believe Nigeria will divide. But if it ever happens, the Ibos will be on their own as no one trust them.

Look at the larger picture

@The fact that you mentioned the "Hausa-fulanis" means you are still ignorant to the problems in Nigeria.

This case affects every single Nigeria. No matter who steals the money, it is the common man the will suffer.

It is time we Nigeria learn to look at corruption as a national problem. Every single region in nigeria is plague with such.

However, you did make a good point on "Royal Dutch Shell" They have to pay (Though legal process) Not out-of-court settlement.

National Question

FGN is the owner of the oil, DPR is suppose to be the Regulator and the Nigeria judiciary is responsible to dispensation fair and adequate compensation to people affected by oil and gas operations.

If you ask me like the Ibori trial, the Nigerian government is again on trial for failing to provide access to justice for its citizens.

A system that jails a father for stealing food and let's a pension administrator that admits stealing billions from the fund to go home.

You can't kill your hens and expect Omelette

They lost. They lost four out of five frivolous suites. I happen to be in Rotterdam at the moment and followed the proceedings with patriotic dedication. They rightly lost. Those were no spills due to negligence by the MNC's, the spills occured due to sabotage by militant groups. Utrecht, Netherlands is independent of Niger Delta oyl unlike the Nigerian government, they can afford to tell them off. No need for Amnesty Program, NDDC, ND Ministry (13% egunje) and other illegalities used to appease oil thieves. They lost squarely in a fair trail.

Looking at the dates of the so-called spills, it was at the height of the rogue militancy led by Henry Okah during which ND thugs introduced kidnappings, piracy, bombings, etc. Today's judgement is a clear statement that 'crime does not pay' and a victory for civilization! You can't kill your fish and expect to eat Geisha! Eggs and Omelette situation.

Make dem go siddon. Any settlement would've been stolen anyways!

I watched the documentary on

@Oleku, you are very funny, are you proud that the community cannot get justice in their country but have to rely on Oyibo to punish their own people? for exploiting us and repatriating the money back to home to their people? what are you really saying?

Shell,Texaco,Chevron,Agip etc... Shud be sacked from SS&SE land

I pray that one day, just one day, the blessed peoples of the SS&SE will have the opportunity of paying back. I mean, playing the reverse roles against the self centered Europe & america. First,it was slavery - a most inhumane crime & no retroactive laws exist to punish the perpetrators. Second, Colonization. But there exists such retroactive laws for war crimes that only black africa & the less powerful nations are subjected to & none for Slavery or the Punitive Colonization & evil amalgamations that were initiated by the stupid actors. When Belgian & French planes preferred to evacuate their cats & Dogs rather than Tutsi children from Kigali during d Rwandan genocide, it was permissible. Idiots. To get justice, the SS&SE MUST not rely on Europe or America bcos an accused cannot be a Judge in his own case...Shell,Chevron,Total etc should be sent packing. With d SS&SE local technology, & perhaps Chinese/Russian input, we wil be ok.
Long live the United Republic of the SS&SE

Don't we have governmemt

Look at how Obama put pressure on BP and here we are farmers and fishermen from Nigeria are going alone. Even if judgement is in their favour, the weight of the judgement will be less compared to when a serious government fight onbehalf of their citizen.

I watched the documentary on

I watched the documentary on aljazeera and I said to myself this is a good fight. You don't come to peoples community and do shit and then think you can go scot free without accounting for your excesses. The Hausa-fulanis can pollute, steal the SE/SS oil resources and may go scot free but not the oyibos. Shell must cough out a heavy sum for compensation. SR thanks for reporting this story here and please keep us inform tomorrow. Oyibo don enter one chance.

The Whole World is watching

This will set a great deal of example to the other oil companies.

Post a comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Comments are limited to a maximum of 1000 characters.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <p> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.