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Villagers take Shell to High Court over Niger oil spills

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The cases are being brought by Leigh Day, which was previously successful in agreeing a £55 million compensation package with Shell to another Nigerian community: GEORGE ESIRI/REUTERS

Neil Johnston: November 21, 2016

A legal battle between Shell and two Nigerian communities who claim that the company caused repeated oil spills will reach the High Court this week.

Tomorrow a four-day hearing will begin to decide whether British courts can hear the legal claims on behalf of 40,000 Nigerians against the oil giant and a subsidiary which operated in the Niger Delta.

The communities blame Shell Petroleum Development Company, a joint venture with the government-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and others, for the extensive environmental damage caused by oil leaks.

The first claim is being brought on behalf of nearly 2,500 people, mainly fisherman, from the Bille Kingdom who say that they have been devastated by pollution over the past five years.

The second is representing the Ogale…

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