Nigerian court imposes mega fine on Shell

24th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

24 February 2006, AMSTERDAM — A Nigerian court has ordered Anglo-Dutch oil giant to pay USD 1.5 billion (EUR 1.26 billion) to the Ijaw people for environmental damage to their region.

24 February 2006

AMSTERDAM — A Nigerian court has ordered Anglo-Dutch oil giant to pay USD 1.5 billion (EUR 1.26 billion) to the Ijaw people for environmental damage to their region.

The Ijaw have been seeking compensation for the damage caused by oil drilling in the area since 2000. They went to court after Shell refused to make the payment ordered by Nigeria's parliament.

Ijaw militants have staged a series of attacks against Shell facilities recently and are holding foreign oil workers hostage. Shell intends to appeal against the judgement.

"We have yet to receive the text of the judgement and can't comment until we've studied it in detail," a spokeswoman from Shell told Dow Jones. "However, we believe we will have strong grounds to appeal as independent expert advice demonstrate that there's no evidence to support the claims. We remain committed to dialogue with the Ijaw people," she added.

Shell's lawyers argued in the federal court in Port Harcourt the joint committee of the National Assembly that made the order in 2000 didn't have the power to compel the oil company to make the payment. But Judge Okechukwu Okeke ruled that since both sides had agreed to go before the National Assembly, the order was binding on both sides.

Nigeria is one of the world's largest oil exporters but despite its oil wealth, many of its people live in poverty. 

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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