Polluted Nigerian communities can sue oil giant, Shell, in English courts, the British Supreme Court has ruled.
According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) report on Friday, this ruling overturns a previous Appeal Court ruling and represents a victory after a five-year legal battle.
The Niger Delta communities of more than 40,000 people say decades of pollution have severely impacted their lives, health and local environment.
Shell had argued it was only a holding company for a firm that should be judged under Nigerian law.
The Supreme Court, the UK’s final appeal court for civil cases, ruled that the cases brought by the Bille community and the Ogale people of Ogoniland against Royal Dutch Shell were arguable and could proceed in the English courts.
Royal Dutch Shell did not dispute that pollution had been caused, but argued it could not be held legally responsible for its Nigerian subsidiary, and that the pollution was the result of “crude oil theft, pipeline sabotage and illegal refining.”
Shell is responsible for about 50 per cent of the delta’s oil production.
Last year, the UK Court of Appeal agreed with the company, but the Supreme Court said on Friday that that decision was flawed.
The communities, represented by law firm Leigh Day, argued that Shell owed a common law duty of care to individuals who had suffered serious harm as a result of systemic health, safety and environmental failings of one of its overseas subsidiaries.
This is the latest case to test whether multinational companies can be held accountable for the acts of overseas subsidiaries.
COREN Begins Evaluators Training For OBE
Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) on Thursday began the training of programme evaluators for the Outcome-based Education (OBE) system intended to produce graduates with required skills to excel in the workplace.
The training, which took place at the Benson Idahosa University (BIU), had participants drawn from the universities and private sector within the South South region.
According to the Registrar of COREN, Prof. Joseph Odigure, the workshop was to train and equip programme evaluators of the OBE who would form COREN database for accreditation of Engineering programmes.
He noted that every aspect of the accreditation process have been streamlined to enhance the credibility of the evaluation.
He said: “In Nigeria, accreditation is necessary for recognition of programmes and registration of engineering graduates as professional engineers. The goal of the workshop is train and equip programme evaluators of OBE who will form COREN database for accreditation of engineering programmes.
“Every aspect of the accreditation process has been streamlined to enhance the credibility of the evaluation. Contrary to earlier practice, there is no quantitative mechanism for final decision making. Therefore, programmes under accreditation must sustainably comply with the requirements in all areas of evaluation.
“Every action of the evaluators must be driven by responsibilities and conducts, according to the stipulated Code of Ethics for Evaluation. Constituency amongst various accreditation team members in terms of evaluation and final recommendation must be maintained,” he added.
The Registrar said that the training would take place in other geo-political zones in the country.
Vice-Chancellor of BIU, Professor Sam Guobadia, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Johnson Oyedeji commended COREN for the initiative, noting that efforts at upgrading and streamlining engineering practice in the country is great.
‘Why Obi Cubana Is Still With Us’ — EFCC
The interrogation of socialite and businessman, Obinna Iyiegbu aka Obi Cabana, entered the third day, on Wednesday, without any hint of when he would perfect his bail and leave the anti-graft agency in Abuja.
An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, confirmed to Vanguard that the businessman was still being grilled and that his release was hinged on his ability to perfect his bail conditions.
The official did now, however, give details of what the businessman was expected to do to satisfy the bail conditions.
“There are many things for which the businessman is being interrogated and until he meets the conditions for his bail, the interrogation would continue,” the official said, without explaining what the issues linked to Cubana are.
But among the likely charges are those bordering on abuse of the Naira, tax fraud and money laundering based on what the source called ‘verified business transactions’.
It will be recalled that the EFCC had, on Monday, invited the businessman to its head office to answer questions on sundry issues.
The agency merely classified the issues as tax fraud and money laundering but declined to give specifics.
READ ALSO: Obi Cubana Passport Seized
It will also be recalled that Obi Cubana came to the spotlight following the flamboyant burial he and his followers staged for his late mother earlier this year.
It is not clear if the invitation by the EFCC to Cubana is related to the way local and hard currencies were sprayed during the obsequies of his mother.
Or whether there are other issues related to his questioning by the operatives of the anti-graft agency.
Drogba Returns, Scores Hat-trick Against Arsene Wenger’s Team
Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba, on Wednesday night, returned to action to score a hat-trick against Arsene Wenger’s UNICEF XI team in a charity match.
Wenger returned to management to lead a UNICEF XI out against Marseille legends.
Wenger’s side moved into a 2-1 lead at the Stade Velodrome in his first.
However, Drogba stole the show with his trio of goals for Marseille legends.
The Ivory Coast legend found the net twice and then even dusted off his infamous celebration for his third goal.
Marseille legends triumphed 7-4 against UNICEF XI.
Formula One hotshot Pierre Gasly was also on target in the enthralling game.
Meanwhile, Robert Pires, Jens Lehmann, Mathieu Flamini and Samir Nasri, all Arsenal legends under Wenger, made appearances last night.
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