Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Shell Crimes in Nigeria: The case for the defence

“Philip Watts, the reserves fraudster who was later forced to resign as Shell Group Chairman with a $18.5 million pension pot, helped to organise and pay for a virtual private army.  Shell engaged in militarised commerce in a conspiracy with the military regime in Nigeria.”

By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell crimes against humanity in Nigeria.

The case for the defence, authored by Shell’s paid historian, Keetie Sluyterman, who has had full access to Shell confidential internal information, will be published here later today, subject to legal intervention by Shell lawyers. We have already received threats by Royal Dutch Shell Plc Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate, Mr Michiel Brandjes, in relation to publication of information from this source material.

ADDED AT 22.55 UK TIME 28 FEBRUARY 2012 (UPDATED 29 FEB)

The opening comments from “A History of Royal Dutch Shell, Volume 3” contain the following statement:

In the mid-1990s, the basic issue at stake for Shell was how to operate according to its own business principles under a military regime which used excessive force towards its own people and divided the oil wealth very unequally, leaving out the very people most affected by the oil production.

Unfortunately, greed had predictably already won out over business principles. Shell admitted in 2004 that it inadvertently fed conflict, poverty and corruption through its oil activities in Nigeria.

(see 93 page leaked Shell International report: Peace and Security in the Niger Delta)

Philip Watts, the reserves fraudster who was later forced to resign as Shell Group Chairman with a $18.5 million pension pot, helped to organise and pay for a virtual private army.  Shell engaged in militarised commerce in a conspiracy with the military regime in Nigeria. (Some text taken from Daily Mail article: Shell chief ‘had a private army’)

Rather than publishing what could be considered selective extracts from Shell’s own paid account of its activities in Nigeria, we have instead made available on the Internet the entire section from “A History of Royal Dutch Shell, Volume 3”

As can be seen, it is admitted that Shell “indirectly” supported the military regime in the mid-1990’s. Shell actually gave massive direct support, including semi-automatic weapons.

The author seems to blame a Channel 4 television programme ‘Heat of the Moment’, broadcast in October 1992, for triggering an international campaign against Shell and its performance regarding environmental and human rights issues in Nigeria.

It deals in some detail with events surrounding Ken Saro-Wiwa and his untimely demise, with eight fellow activists, in horrific circumstances.

It acknowledges that Shell refused to interfere publicly in the trial and instead, followed a strategy of ‘quiet diplomacy’. It was not until after the court found the accused guilty on trumped up charged that Shell’s Committee of Managing Directors sent a letter to the Nigerian Dictator Sani Abacha, to ask for clemency on humanitarian grounds, to no avail.

The ramifications of Shell’s track record of crimes against humanity in Nigeria, supporting a succession of corrupt regimes, continues to this day (in the US Supreme Court).

“Shell in Nigeria” is covered in pages 342 to 355.

I seem to detect that “history” is sometimes spun in in favor of Shell, but readers can draw their own conclusions.

Shell’s threats against us regarding Internet publication of information from the History of Royal Dutch Shell volumes, relate to copyright. We contend that public interest overrides copyright.

LINK TO 19 PAGES FROM “A HISTORY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL VOLUME 3”

Information on pages 8 & 9 confirm that like the earlier two volumes, this volume is also based on “unrestricted access to the internal records of the Group, including minutes and supporting documents of the CMD and Conference. In addition trade journals, speeches, and company brochures have been consulted. Particularly useful have been the interviews with nearly fifty Shell employees…”

From the back cover

Keetie E. Sluyterman is Professor of Business History at Utrecht University, and senior researcher at the Research Institute for History and Culture at the same university.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: