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JUST IN: Niger Delta Communities Can Sue Shell, UK Supreme Court Rules

United Kingdom Supreme Court has granted polluted Nigerian communities the chances of suing oil giant, Shell, in English Courts.

BBC Africa has it that the ruling overturns a previous Appeal Court ruling and represents a victory after a five-year legal battle.

The Niger Delta communities say decades of pollution have severely affected a number of things which includes their lives, health, and the local environment.

Shell in its defence had argued that it was only a holding company for a firm that should be judged under Nigerian law.

The Supreme Court ruled that the cases brought by the Bille community and the Ogale people of Ogoniland against Royal Dutch Shell were arguable and could proceed in the English courts.

Royal Dutch Shell did not dispute that pollution had been caused but rather argued that it could not be held legally responsible for its Nigerian subsidiary.

It also said that the pollution was the result of “crude oil theft, pipeline sabotage, and illegal refining”.

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