Four Nigerian farmers secured a landmark legal victory in the Netherlands against Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, as a Dutch court ordered the company to pay the farmers compensation over oil spills.

The names of the farmers, according to Friends of the Earth, Nigeria, are Alali Efanga, Friday Akpan, Fidelis Oguru, and Eric Dooh.

Friends of the Earth, Nigeria, in collaboration with their partners in the Netherlands, were involved in the litigation.

Friends of the Earth in the Netherlands were also the plaintiff in the case, alongside the farmers, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

The communities affected by the spills are in Rivers and Bayelsa states.

The Court of Appeal in The Hague on Friday ruled that Shell was liable for two oil leaks that occurred in a community in the oil-rich Niger Delta and must, therefore, pay compensation for damages done to farmlands, according to a report by Aljazeera.

“Shell Nigeria is sentenced to compensate farmers for damages,” the court was quoted as saying in its ruling.

The spills, reported to have occurred between 2004 and 2007, resulted in a protracted civil suit against the company which has been ordered to clean up the affected communities and prevent future leaks.

The ruling did not say how much Shell would have to pay out as compensation or who among the four farmers would receive compensation.