Responding to the news that two Nigerian communities, devastated by oil spills, have filed lawsuits against Shell in London’s High Court, Amnesty International’s Director of Business and Human Rights, Mark Dummett, said:

“More than 13,500 residents of the communities of Ogale and Bille in the Niger Delta have filed lawsuits against Shell requesting that the company clean up oil spills that they say destroyed their livelihoods, poisoned their wells and contaminated their land and water, which means they can no longer farm or fish.”

“Amnesty stands with these two communities in the Niger Delta, who have been engaged in litigation against Shell for seven years, calling for the company to clean up the damage caused and compensate them for the loss of their livelihoods.”

“Shell announced in 2021 that it plans to sell its oil fields and onshore assets in the Niger Delta after 60 years of highly profitable operations in the area. Worryingly, Shell has failed to explain how it plans to address the widespread and systemic contamination of Nigerian communities linked to its operations for many years before selling and leaving.

“This case now goes to trial to determine whether Shell’s parent company in London, as well as its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), is legally responsible for the harm caused to communities in Nigeria.

Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, said: “Had this level of contamination and pollution occurred in Europe or North America, it is hard to imagine that there would not have been swift and serious consequences and legal redress. Shell should clean up the pollution that oil has caused in these communities and compensate those whose livelihoods have been devastated and whose health has been damaged.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Amnesty International.