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Agbara et al. v. Shell Petroleum et al.
Type of document:
National - higher court
Date of text:
Junio 14, 2010
Data source:
Court name:
Federal High Court of Nigeria
Seat of court:
Buba, I.N.
ECOLEX subject(s):
Medio ambiente gen.
The Ejama-Ebubu case was first filed in 2001, after Nigeria’s transition to a civilian government. There has been a longstanding war of words between Shell and Ogoni groups over the Ejama-Ebubu spill – communities claim that Shell’s negligence caused the rupture, while Shell blames retreating Biafran rebels, who supposedly blew up the pipeline as they withdrew during Nigeria’s civil war. Yet at trial, according to presiding Justice Ibrahim Buba, it declined to call any evidence to support any of its factual defenses. When Shell repaired its facilities and started pumping oil again after the civil war was over, it did nothing to patch the leak, which continued to gush crude onto farmlands and into waterways for at least fifteen years. At its worst, the Ejama-Ebubu spill inundated several square miles of land under literally yards of oil. The land remains uninhabitable and ravaged to this day. The Shell corporation has been ordered by the Nigerian court to pay out a large sum of compensation for the oil spill that severely damaged Ogoni lands 40 years ago. The court also ordered the oil giants to de-pollute the land and swamps to their states before the spill took place.