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Shell To Challenge Damages Award Made In Nigeria After 1969 Oil Spill

(Alliance News) – Royal Dutch Shell PLC is mounting an appeal after a judge in Nigeria made a GBP33 million damages award following an oil pipeline rupture half a century ago.

Bosses are preparing to challenge the 2010 ruling, made after a hearing in the Federal Court of Nigeria, in the Nigerian Supreme Court.

Detail of the appeal was outlined on Thursday in a ruling by a judge who considered issues in the case at a High Court hearing in London.

Judge Jason Coppel heard that a lesser ranking judge in London had earlier this year “registered” the Nigerian ruling in England.

He said registration meant that the ruling could be enforced in the UK as if it was a ruling made by a High Court judge.

The judge decided that the registration of the ruling should be overturned after Shell complained.

Lawyers representing a number of Shell companies said the decision to register in London had been unfair.

They said an appeal was pending in the Nigerian Supreme Court and said Shell argued that the original proceedings in Nigeria had been unfair.

People living in the Rivers State area of Nigeria, who live on land they say was polluted by the 1969 oil spill, had taken legal action against Shell.

source: PA

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