Shell in court over Nigeria oil spills


Amnesty International experts available for interview

When: 20 June 2014, 2pm BST

Where: UK Technological and Construction Court in the Rolls building on Fetter Lane, London

The first judgment in what lawyers have said could be the “largest ever” environmental trial will be handed down Friday, setting the parameters for a lawsuit against energy goliath Shell brought by 15,000 Nigerians from the Bodo community in the Niger Delta. The community was devastated by two massive spills in 2008 and 2009 from a Shell pipeline. 

Amnesty International has been campaigning since 2009 for Shell to come clean on the environmental damage it has caused, which has destroyed livelihoods and jeopardised the health of thousands of people living near Shell’s oil facilities in the Niger Delta.

“For more than five years the people of Bodo have been living day by day with the devastating consequences of these spills,” said Joe Westby, Amnesty International’s Corporate Accountability Campaigner, who will be at the court at 2pm BST and available for interview.

“We hope tomorrow’s judgment will pave the way – finally – to justice for the deprivations this community has had to suffer.” 

The trial on the merits of the case is expected to take place at the High Court in London in May 2015. The case is the first time Shell has faced formal proceedings in the UK for its role in the Niger Delta pollution.

Shell is expected to argue that it is not responsible for ongoing pollution in Bodo. 

The company claims it has done its best to clean up the area, but that there have since been other spills, caused by thieves attempting to siphon oil from the pipeline.

In its 2013 report, Bad Information: Oil Spill Investigations in the Niger Delta, Amnesty International exposed much of Shell’s claims on oil pollution in the region as “deeply suspect and often untrue”.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Max Tucker, Press Officer for Global Campaigns, Thematic Issues and UN, on +44 7983 563 983 or via email [email protected]