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22nd Execution Anniversary Date of the Ogoni 9

The ‘Ogoni 9’ were executed on this day 22 years ago, all victims of a trumped-up case brought by the corrupt despotic Abacha Nigerian regime in collusion with its evil partner in crime, Royal Dutch Shell.

The widows of those murdered include Esther Kiobel who has been seeking justice ever since. Her husband, Dr. Barinem Nubari Kiobel was born in Kpor, Rivers State, Nigeria, on 23 September 1959. Between 1979 and 1992 he lived in the UK, where he obtained a doctorate at the University of Glasgow. In 1992 he returned to Nigeria, where he accepted a senior lecturer position at the University of Science and Technology in Port Harcourt.

Dr. Kiobel later became Honourable Commissioner of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Rivers State province. In this role he acted as a link between the government and the Ogoni. During his work as Commissioner, despite the potential danger of doing so, he publicly expressed criticism of the regime’s activities in Ogoniland. A fatal course of action. 

According to Esther Kiobel, it was this critical attitude that her husband as a relative newcomer adopted towards Shell and the regime that ultimately ensured he was picked up with the leaders of MOSOP on 22 May 1994 and was then tried at the Ogoni 9 trial. Dr. Kiobel was executed on 10 November 1995.

On 10 November 1995 the military regime in Nigeria hanged Dr. Barinem Kiobel, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levula, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera and John Kpuinen – together usually collectively known as the ‘Ogoni 9’.

Esther is currently in related litigation with Shell or its lawyers in the USA and the Netherlands.

Disclosure by John Donovan the author of this article: The lead claimant Esther Kiobel, Channa Samkalden of the Dutch human rights law firm Prakken d’Oliveira representing the widows, and the acclaimed human rights organisation Amnesty International, have all acknowledged the involvement of John Donovan in bringing *this case. (*See Writ of Summons in English and Dutch served on Shell 28 June 2017 – copy obtained from US Pacer public electronic court records)

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