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John Donovan, Shell’s nightmare: Genesis

Extracts from the ebook “John Donovan, Shell’s Nightmare” (now available on Amazon websites globally)

In 1979, our company, Don Marketing supplied promotional games that were used to promote petrol sales on the forecourts of most petrol brands in the UK, including Shell.

In 1981, we moved into a contractual relationship with Shell as a result of a presentation I made at Shell-Mex House in The Strand, the then London HQ of Shell UK Limited.

I put forward a proposal for Shell to launch a legal version of a promotional game called Make Money that Shell had abandoned in the 1960‘s out of concern that it was in breach of UK lottery laws. read more

Shell defamatory posters, leaflets and press releases attacking Donovan

By John Donovan

My families falling out with Shell took place over two decades ago.

Some indication of the degree of acrimony can be gauged from the content of posters Shell put on public display on 23 September 1998 at the Shell Centre in London, specifically targeting my father and me. I have never heard of a multinational corporation doing anything like this before or since.

This is what the posters said:

YOU MAY BE HANDED A LEAFLET OUTSIDE SHELL CENTRE BY MR ALFRED DONOVAN, FORMALLY OF A COMPANY CALLED DON MARKETING UK LIMITED.  YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT JOHN DONOVAN, A DIRECTOR OF DON MARKETING UK LIMITED, MR ALFRED DONOVAN’S SON, HAS ISSUED A WRIT AGAINST SHELL UK CLAIMING THAT HIS COMPANY INVENTED THE SMART LOYALTY CARD PROGRAMME.  MR DONOVAN’S ALLEGATIONS HAVE BEEN VERY CAREFULLY INVESTIGATED BY SHELL UK AND DISCUSSED IN DETAIL WITH MR DONOVAN AND HIS SOLICITORS. THE CLAIM IS BEING VIGOROUSLY DEFENDED.  AS SOME OF YOU MAY KNOW, MR DONOVAN HAS MADE SOME OFFENSIVE STATEMENTS ABOUT SHELL UK COLLEAGUES. WE REJECT SUCH ALLEGATIONS ABSOLUTELY AND ARE WHOLLY CONFIDENT THAT OUR COLLEAGUES HAVE ACTED IN THIS MATTER AT ALL TIMES IN GOOD FAITH AND IN LINE WITH OUR LONG STANDING BUSINESS PRINCIPLES. read more

SHELL STILL TRYING TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER – LITERALLY

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse, New York, New York

An important decision day for Esther Kiobel in the above U.S. Courthouse tomorrow, Tuesday 12 Sept 2017 in her epic attempt to bring Shell to Justice for complicity in the murder of her husband Dr. Barinem Kiobel, one of the  Ogoni Nine. She is seeking more than 100,000 Shell discovery documents stored in a secure US warehouse. 

“Who doesn’t love a good discovery fight? And this one involving Cravath, Swaine & Moore is a doozy, with ramifications that extend literally across the planet.”

By John Donovan

The text shown in red is an extract from an article by Jenna Greene from The Litigation Daily published in the US yesterday under the headline “Cravath in the Crosshairs”.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore are Shell’s lawyers. In 2013 they managed to torpedo on jurisdiction grounds a 2002 US lawsuit against Shell led by Esther Kiobel. After over a decade of litigation to stop the case from being heard, Cravath won a US Supreme Court decision in 2013 on that important point of law, without her charges against Shell  ever being considered. read more

Another North Sea Storm for Shell

UPDATED WITH ARTICLE COMMENTS RECEIVED SINCE PUBLICATION, INCLUDING FROM BILL CAMPBELL

By John Donovan

It is getting on to 20 years since Shell safety expert Bill Campbell led an HSE audit team which exposed a “Touch Fuck All” culture in relation to maintenance and safety issues on Shell’s Brent Bravo platform. After two decades of promises by Shell to give safety the highest priority, Shell has just been ordered to shut down its North Sea Armada platform on similar grounds. This follows weeks after the issuance of a prohibition notice by HSE inspectors in relation to Brent Charlie. (See links below).  read more

BHP Billiton unveils board shake-up as two directors depart

23 AUGUST 2017 • 11:07AM

The world’s largest mining company is to shake up its board after two directors announced they would be stepping down – one after just six months. The FTSE 100 group also announced that former Shell executive Malcolm Brinded would be stepping down after three years on the board as a non-executive. Mr Brinded would not be seeking re-election “given his involvement in ongoing legal proceedings in Italy relating to his prior employment with Shell”, Mr Nasser said. Shell, where Mr Brinded was a director for 10 years until 2012, is facing an investigation over alleged corrupt payments to acquire an oilfield off the shore of Nigeria in 2011.  read more

Retired Shell official accuses company of ‘more leaks than the White House’

Bill Campbell, retired HSE GROUP AUDITOR, Shell International, comments on Paddy Briggs damning conclusion about Shell FAT CATS

The Lonely Elephant

Prelude may or may not turn out to be a white elephant but certainly from the leaked transformation documents it would appear it will be in any case a lonely elephant. 20 some years in gestation it appears that mega FLNG projects are out. As for the fat cats Paddy if Shell continues to leak (Pernis et al), more leaks than the White House, the fat cats may not be around. Are they taking their eye of the ball – who is running the business, with all this transformation stuff and reported loss of common sense and experience I read about on this website from current employees, it makes you think. read more

Kiobel Writ: Shell bribed witnesses in Ogoni 9 trial

Already during the trial in 1995 two witnesses testified that they had been bribed to make incriminating statements in exchange for money and a job at Shell. In their statements Nkpah and Danwi named a number of other witnesses who were bribed by Shell and the regime…: Separate extract: “We knew that Shell, the prosecutor and the members of the tribunal were working hand in glove with each other. 

By John Donovan

The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Esther Kiobel Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. More information about the latest litigation, this time in the Dutch Courts, is provided after the extracts. As can be seen in the footnotes, the allegations are supported by voluminous evidence.  

Shell and the Abacha regime operated in tandem

Extracts begin

8.6 Shell contributed to the outcome of the Ogoni 9 trial

8.6.1 Shell was involved in the bribery of witnesses

Already during the trial in 1995 two witnesses testified that they had been bribed to make incriminating statements in exchange for money and a job at Shell. Charles Danwi and Naayone Nkpah made a statement under oath on video on 16 and 27 February 1995 respectively, which was submitted as an affidavit to the Civil Disturbances Tribunal.409 The Tribunal however disregarded the evidence. In their statements Nkpah and Danwi named a number of other witnesses who were bribed by Shell and the regime, that is Celestine Meabe, Kevin Badara,410 Limpa Bah, Peter Fii, Saturday Iye and David Keenom (exhibit 45: Public Deposition Naayone Nkpah, 19 March 2004, pp. 19-22; exhibit 21: Affidavit Charles Danwi, 16 February 1995).411 The false statements of these bribed witnesses were decisive in the conviction of the Ogoni 9.412 The statements of Danwi and Nkpah show that shortly after the murders of the traditional Ogoni leaders they were pressured by the main prosecution witnesses Alhaji Kobani (the brother of the murdered Edward Kobani) and Priscilla Vikue413 to sign a false statement in which they accused the since apprehended MOSOP and NYCOP leaders of the murders.414 Initially they refused to do this, whereupon they were placed under house arrest for some time. Danwi testified that he was then promised the following:

“I was promise[d] that after the case in Court I will be given a house any place in the country, a Contract from Shell and OMPADEC and some amount of money to buy my musical instrument. […] On another date of meeting in Kobani’s House, representative from Shell, OMPADEC, security agents, Govt officials and the Kobani, Orage and Badey’s family were present and they all agreed. The family gave some money say that the money come from Govt. and Shell. In my case I was given N 30,000,- from Shell and Govt.”415

  • Nkpah testified to the same effect and in his fuller statement in the American Kiobel case also said who was involved in the bribery. Apart from Alhaji Kobani and some other family members of the murdered Ogoni chiefs, they were also various representatives of the regime and the oil industry, among them Shell’s lawyer O.C.J. Okocha.416 Nkpah was also promised a house, 30,000 naira and a contract at Shell, OMPADEC or the government.417 In his deposition he said that Celestine Meabe had asked Alhaji Kobani where the 30,000 naira came from, to which Kobani replied:

    “This money come from Shell, government of Nigeria. This is why the chairman, the lawyer representative is here.”.418

  • Kobani introduced this Shell lawyer to Nkpah as O.C.J. Okocha.419 Nkpah also said that Kobani had told him that “anything that is being given to us […] basically is from the government and the Shell and Ubadek [OMPADEC]”.420
  •  Just like Danwi, in exchange for signing the false testimony Nkpah was given a job in the transport section of the municipality of Gokana where, in addition to the 30,000 naira, he received a monthly salary without actually being employed.421
  • Gani Fawehinmi, the suspects’ lawyer, introduced Danwi’s statement on the second day of the Ogoni 9 trial (on 21 February 1995):

    “My Lord, he [Charles Danwi] is number 22 on the list of witnesses. He has sworn to an Affidavit and he has exhibited what is called a principal statement. He accused the Government [and] Shell Development Company for bribing him with thirty thousand naira (N30.000) and a house. He has made a full disclosure that what they have was not his statement […].”422

  •  Although Kiobel’s lawyer Alhaji Oso again tried to stress the importance of the bribery on the third day423 and explained that the reliability of the witnesses was the basis of the case,424 Nkpah and Danwi’s affidavits were not admitted as exculpatory evidence.425 At that point, Danwi and Nkpah had already gone into hiding out of fear for repercussions by the regime and could not therefore give evidence to the hearing. Their fear proved to be well-founded: both men were put on the regime’s blacklist.426 Ultimately they were forced to flee Nigeria and they were accepted as refugees in Benin.427
  • Nkpah is currently living in the United States and is prepared to substantiate his statements in detail as a witness if necessary. Danwi’s current whereabouts are unknown.
  • 8.6.2 Shell maintained direct contact with the judges of the Special Tribunal during the trial read more

    Shell’s leaked global organisation changes: Part 3

    By John Donovan

    Today we publish another sizeable chunk from Shell’s current internal consultative document which, although directed at Shell’s Dutch employees, includes a detailed description of Shell’s proposed global organisation changes. Still no legal action by Shell to prevent publication of its plans. 

    Consequences of the proposed change for the current PTD global organisation EC-1, -2 &-3

    As shown above a new integrated Technology organization is proposed to be created that will consolidate all technology development and deployment activities, and will provide end-to-end accountability for technology commercialisation. The current PTD organization would become part of the new Technology organization. read more

    Alarming news today of potential fire and explosion on Shell North Sea platform

    By John Donovan

    History is repeating itself. Shell is in the news today over its  dangerous North Sea oil platform activities.

    Nearly 20 years ago, Shell senior management ignored warnings by HSE Auditor Bill Campbell about the Touch Fuck All regime on the Brent Bravo platform and its potential impact on worker safety. Production and profits were the overriding consideration. Maintenance records were routinely falsified. Lives were put at risk.

    Shell EP MD Malcolm Brinded promised to take action based on the scandalous state of affairs Mr Campbell’s team had discovered when he led the safety audit on the platform. The promises were not kept. As a result, platform workers subsequently lost their lives in what was judged by the Scottish legal authorities to be an avoidable accident on Brent Bravo. A record-breaking fine was imposed on Shell. read more

    Kiobel Writ: Shell and the Abacha regime operated a joint intelligence service

    The extent of Shell’s infiltration of Nigerian politics later became clear from the messages from the American embassy in Nigeria published by WikiLeaks. In them Executive Vice President of Shell in Africa at the time, Ann Pickard, boasted to the American ambassador that the Nigerian government had forgotten that Shell had seconded people to every ministry in the Nigerian government and was therefore aware of everything happening there

    By John Donovan

    The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Esther Kiobel Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. More information about the latest litigation, this time in the Dutch Courts, is provided after the extracts. As can be seen in the footnotes, the allegations are supported by volumous evidence.

    Shell and the Abacha regime operated in tandem

    Extracts begin:

    8.4.4 Shell and the regime operated a joint intelligence service

    267. Together with the State Security Service (“SSS”, the national intelligence and security service) Shell maintained its own network of informants. According to George Ukpong, Shell had daily contact with the commissioner of police of Rivers State and the director of the SSS in this period.362 The SSS, according to Upkong, “is one of the security agencies rendering valuable assistance in support of SPDC security operations in the state”; the SSS “has provided assistance in meeting some of our staff training needs” and “has been of particular assistance to [Shell] in the area of crime intelligence acquisition”. read more

    SHELL JOBS UPHEAVAL

    By John Donovan

    Today we publish the opening pages of Shell’s internal consultative document which, although directed at Shell’s Dutch employees, includes a detailed description of Shell’s proposed global organisation changes.

    With regards to the Shell VP musical chairs analogy, a Shell Blog contributor has pointed out “50% of VPs would have to leave, and GM level even more.”

    The content of the Shell document is all valuable, commercially sensitive insider information, most definitely not meant for consumption by the public, Shell shareholders, or Shell’s competitors.  read more

    Kiobel Writ: Shell encouraged military offensive against MOSOP

    Owens Wiwa, brother of Ken Saro Wiwa, outside Shell headquarters in London

    In 1994 the Nigerian regime of Sani Abacha began a large-scale military offensive in Ogoniland to break the population’s resistance to Shell’s activities and to clear the way to a resumption of oil production.

    By John Donovan

    The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Esther Kiobel Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. More information about the latest litigation, this time in the Dutch Courts, is provided after the extracts.

    EXTRACTS FROM ESTHER KIOBEL JUNE 2017 WRIT

    8.3 Shell facilitated Operation Restore Order in Ogoniland

    218. In 1994 the Nigerian regime of Sani Abacha began a large-scale military offensive in Ogoniland to break the population’s resistance to Shell’s activities and to clear the way to a resumption of oil production. Not long after the offensive was announced, the leaders of MOSOP and any other prominent Ogoni were arrested, resulting in the death of the Ogoni 9 in 1995. read more

    Kiobel Writ: Shell supported the Abacha army in fake ‘ethnic conflicts’

    Between July 1993 and April 1994 hundreds of Ogoni were killed and thousands became homeless as a result of apparent ethnic conflicts between the Andoni, the Okrika and Ndoki and the Ogoni population groups. The biggest attack took place on the Ogoni village of Kaa on 4 and 5 August 1993, when an estimated 35 to 124 villagers died; The regime later proved involved in the attacks itself, with Shell providing a helping hand.

    By John Donovan

    The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Esther Kiobel Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. More information about the latest litigation, this time in the Dutch Courts, is provided after the extracts.

    EXTRACTS FROM ESTHER KIOBEL JUNE 2017 WRIT 

    8.2.5  Shell supported the army in fake ‘ethnic conflicts’

    203. Between July 1993 and April 1994 hundreds of Ogoni were killed and thousands became homeless as a result of apparent ethnic conflicts between the Andoni, the Okrika and Ndoki and the Ogoni population groups. The biggest attack took place on the Ogoni village of Kaa on 4 and 5 August 1993, when an estimated 35 to 124 villagers died; widespread looting also took place and possessions and homes were destroyed.250 Despite repeated requests to this effect from MOSOP to Rufus Ada George and President Abacha, the Nigerian regime did not intervene in this period.251 The regime later proved involved in the attacks itself, with Shell providing a helping hand. read more

    Groningen earthquakes: Shell trying everything to deny responsibility

    Comment by a Dutch farmer in relation to the article The Abrupt Demise Of Dutch Gas

    In this article, I miss the human rights factor, and the fact that governments are in the first place for the safety and protection of property of their inhabitants.

    The current situation is that government and SHELL have completely destroyed many hundreds of beautiful historical farms and churches, and 100.000 houses in the area are severely damaged, to be destroyed as well in years to come if the gaz exploitations continues in Groningen.

    After all the destruction in the area, the bill is for the home owner. The compensated value is only 95% after their house is damaged many times, and already half the value. read more

    Shell’s shocking toxic legacy

    ABOUT THE PROJECT

    The Niger Delta is Africa’s biggest oil-producing region, and one of the most polluted places on earth. Every year hundreds of oil spills destroy the environment and devastate the lives of communities living there.

    Some oil companies operating in the Niger Delta, such as Shell, publish oil spill investigation reports on their websites. But in the past they made false claims regarding the cause and size of oil spills to pay less compensation and avoid properly cleaning up the pollution.

    Help Amnesty researchers analyse thousands of these oil spill investigation reports – use your computer or phone and dedicate as little as 30 seconds to verify the cause, location or image of an oil spill.

    Your work will help us expose cases of false and misleading information and enable local communities demand proper clean-up and rehabilitation of pollution and environmental damage. read more

    Kiobel Writ: SHELL COMPLICITY IN HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

    Shell was repeatedly behind excessively violent action by the regime against the Ogoni and other population groups that were protesting against Shell. During the trial Shell was also in direct contact with the Tribunal judges and Shell’s counsel assisted the regime in bribing witnesses.

    By John Donovan

    The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Esther Kiobel Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. More information about the latest litigation, this time in the Dutch Courts, is provided after the extracts.

    8. SHELL IS COMPLICIT IN THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AGAINST THE OGONI 9 AND THE CLAIMANTS

    8.1 Introduction

    160. As explained in the previous chapter, under Nigerian law encouraging or inciting human rights violations, promoting or contributing to them, sharing in making them possible or facilitating them leads to complicity. read more

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