Shell Ordered to Pay $111m Over Nigerian Biafran War Oil Spills

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Shell’s Nigerian unit has agreed to pay communities in the south of the country more than $110 million over crude oil spills which occurred in 1970 during the Biafran War.

Shell will compensate the Ejama-Ebubu people $110.9 million to end a legal case that began in 1991.

“The order for the payment of [$111m] to the claimants is for full and final satisfaction of the judgement,” a local spokesman for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria said.

In 2010, a Nigerian court fined Shell $41.36m in 2010. However, the company decided that they did not want to pay out and launched several appeals, all of which failed.

Last year, Nigeria’s Supreme Court ruled that, with interest, the fine owed by Shell was more than ten times greater than the original judgment.

The payment “is for full and final satisfaction” of a court judgment issued against the company 11 years ago, a spokesman for Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary said per The Washington Post.

Lucius Nwosa, a lawyer representing the Ejama-Ebubu, confirmed the decision to The Guardian. “They ran out of tricks and decided to come to terms,” he said. “The decision is a vindication of the resoluteness of the community for justice.”

In January, a Dutch court ordered Shell Nigeria to compensate farmers for major oil spills, which caused widespread pollution in the two villages of Goi and Oruma in 2004 and 2005.

Shell Nigeria said it was “disappointed” with the ruling.

“Sabotage, crude oil theft and illegal refining are a major challenge in the Niger delta. Like all Shell-operated ventures globally, we are committed to operating safely and protecting the local environment.”

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