After 12 years: The oil pollution lawsuit against Shell in Nigeria is almost over

Will they finally get justice? 4 Nigerian farmers together with Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands) sued Shell 12 years ago. Their lands had been polluted by oil leaking from Shell’s pipelines. On October 8, we’ll face each other in court one last time.

The oil pollution lawsuit against Shell immediately became a revolutionary court case. Never before had a company been sued for damage that one of its subsidiaries abroad had caused. We demand that Shell compensate the residents, clean up its mess and prevent future leaks.

The lawsuit has been dragging on for so long that 2 of the plaintiffs have already passed away. But their children carry on and have taken over their case. 

Pipelines poorly maintained

Shell’s courtroom defence has been that all of the oil spills were caused by saboteurs. And that Shell is thus not responsible. Our investigation of the conditions of the pipelines shows something else altogether. Shell failed to maintain the pipelines properly, which caused them to rust. Shell should also have taken more measures to monitor the pipelines.

We hope the judge agrees with us and decides that the residents deserve to be compensated. Only then can they start a new life.

More information

The Nigerian plaintiffs and Milieudefensie are represented by the law offices of Prakken d'Oliveira, an international human rights law firm that champions the rights of individuals and represents human rights cases. Are you a journalist and do you want more information on the court case?  Reach out to us via