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London — A British court has blocked pollution claims against Anglo-Dutch energy company Shell by more than 40,000 Niger Delta residents demanding action over decades of oil spills. Members of the Ogale and Bille communities had applied for the case to be heard in Britain, arguing they could not get justice in Nigeria. But on Thursday, the High Court in London said it did not have jurisdiction in the case. "Our community is disappointed, but not discouraged by this judgment," King Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi, ruler of the Ogale Community, said. "This decision has to be appealed, not just for Ogale, but for many other people in the Niger Delta who will be shut out if this decision is allowed to stand. Shell is simply being asked to clean up its oil and to compensate the communities it has devastated," he said. The firm’s lawyer, Peter Goldsmith, told Judge Peter Fraser during a hearing in November that the cases concerned "fundamentally Nigerian issues", and should not be heard in Londo...

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