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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.  read more

Shell warned against resuming operations in Ogoni

By Jimitota Onoyume PORT HAR-COURT— 9 November 2017

THE people of Ogoni have again enjoined the Federal Government to ensure that oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, does not resume operations in the area. National Coordinator, Ken Sarowiwa Associates, Chief Gani Tobpa, in a statement in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, also called on companies intending to operate OML 11 to disclose how they will protect Ogoni communities from another round of environmental pollution, adding that they should also indicate how they would create a robust economy for the people. “Ken Saro Wiwa Associates condemns in strong terms the continued romance among the Federal Government, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and SPDC with respect to oil exploration activities in OML 11. We call on the Federal Government to revoke the Oil Mining Lease given to SPDC. FULL ARTICLE read more

MOSOP Condemns Shell’s Destruction of Ogoni Farmlands

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) strongly condemn the conscienceless destruction of crops in Ogoniland by the Shell Petroleum Development Company in Nigeria with the backing of heavily armed Nigerian soldiers.

MOSOP considers the action of Shell to be callous, insensitive and a complete negation of the principles of business in any civilized society.

We note that Shell’s conduct in Ogoniland in recent weeks do not only threaten food security but is also leading to apprehension with attendant heart related problems for our people. read more

Ogoni Nine: Shell’s lawyers refusing to hand over “critical” evidence – Amnesty International

The widows of four of the men, led by Esther Kiobel, are the plaintiffs in the case which was first filed in 2001 in the U.S. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2013, without hearing the substance of the case, had ruled that the U.S. did not have jurisdiction. The widows filed the lawsuit in the Netherlands on June 28. An international human rights NGO, Amnesty International, said in a statement Friday that the U.S. law firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, has refused to hand over more than 100,000 internal documents considered crucial to the case. The Amnesty International directly accused Shell of trying to prevent the release of vital information. FULL ARTICLE read more

Shell/NPDCl Attempt to Resume Oil Production in Ogoniland

By Fegalo Nsuke, MOSOP Publicity Secretary: We disapprove of Shell’s attempt to re-enter Ogoniland. We accuse them of the killings of 1995 and for the death of over 3000 persons. We accuse them of the ruin of over 10 Ogoni communities whose inhabitants remain in exile. We accuse them of genocide in Ogoniland and for the complete destruction of our environment.

I do not how best to describe Shell Nigeria and her new ally, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), both of which have exhibited a very high level of irresponsibility in Ogoniland.

On Thursday, August 4, led by the president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) the Ogoni people protested against a surreptitious attempt by Shell to re-enter Ogoniland.

The demonstration clearly represented our disapproval of any form of oil business in Ogoni. We made our position very clear, that no form of oil exploitation should resume in any part of Ogoniland without proper negotiations. 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

    Kiobel Writ: Shell and the murderous Abacha regime operated in tandem

    Shell paid and maintained part of the Nigerian police force; Shell was prepared to purchase arms for the regime; Shell had puppets in place up to the highest level of the Nigerian government as a result of its revolving door policy, under which former employees of Shell work for the regime and vice versa; Shell maintained a network of informants in Ogoniland in conjunction with the regime. Shell was itself… a direct and active part of (all ranks of) the government apparatus that had to maintain ‘order’ in Ogoniland and to this end violated human rights on a wide scale. Shell’s police force in 1994 numbered more than 1,200 officers… Shell also had 41 marines and 128 MOPOL members… … in total the Shell-operated joint venture employed around 2,470 security staff…

    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 Begin

    8.4 Shell and the regime operated in tandem

    246. Not only did Shell stand at the cradle of the aforementioned excesses by requesting the intervention of MOPOL or the RSISTF again and again, it also factually enabled the regime to do this by providing it with arms, personnel and money. As such, Shell facilitated the excessive actions by the regime, but also fulfilled typical government tasks itself.247. The strong entanglement of Shell and the regime is evident inter alia from the following facts and circumstances, some of which have previously been discussed above: read more

    Shell false pledges of transparency and openness

    By John Donovan

    Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden says that he believes in the fundamental importance of openness by Shell. This echo’s comments made previously by Jorma Ollila when he was Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He said in a speech at the 2014 AGM “Shell believes in transparency and your board has high levels of commitment to this.”

    Unfortunately Shell senior management deeds do not, in practice, match their lofty words.

    On 22 May I wrote to Shell Legal Director Donny Ching asking him to instruct Shell US lawyers Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, to release for use in the Dutch courts over 100,000 items of evidence gathered by Shell internally in relation to its past conduct in Nigeria. Alleged human rights abuses, including alleged complicity in the murder of Ogoni leaders. read more

    Neal Katyal, the best justice money can buy

    By John Donovan

    Shell lawyers Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP have hired Neal Katyal, a senior partner at the global law firm Hogan Lovells, to represent them in litigation relating to Shell’s human rights abuses in Nigeria.

    Mr Katyal is a busy man. On Monday he will be arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. For the first time, it includes President Trump’s appointee Neil Gorsuch. Katyal endorsed Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, testifying at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. read more

    APRIL 2017: TOP U.S. LAW FIRMS BATTLING TO FRUSTRATE ESTHER KIOBEL LITIGATION AGAINST SHELL

    Esther Kiobel (left) addressing supporters

    15 YEARS ON, SHELL STILL FRUSTRATING LITIGATION TO HOLD IT ACCOUNTABLE FOR EVIL DEEDS IN NIGERIA

    By John Donovan

    Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP – a global law firm, which has Shell as a long term client, has recently hired another global law firm – Hogan Lovells US LLP – to represent it in an attempt to frustrate litigation being brought against Shell in the USA and the Netherlands. 

    We have published several articles in recent months concerning a petition brought in the US courts on behalf of Esther Kiobel.  

    She is seeking access to more than 100,000 Shell internal documents gathered by Shell and handed to Cravath. This happened as part of the discovery process in the litigation Esther brought against Shell in 2002, in the US courts. Among many serious allegations was a claim that Shell was complicit in the murder of her husband, a leader of the Ogoni people in Nigeria.  read more

    Trials and Tribulations of Royal Dutch Shell Plc

    Links below to a selection of current news stories posted on
    our sister website royaldutchshellgroup.com. They include, among other developments, news that Shell has lost another court case, this time at a cost of $254m.

    There is also coverage of further litigation relating to Shell’s nefarious activities in Nigeria, with the latest events in the OPL 245 saga. 

    And The Motley Fool poses a very important question: Can BP and Shell survive the coming oil price crash? 

    Shell loses $254m court case: EnergyVoice.com 16 Feb 2017 read more

    Updated: Shell to finish submitting Brent field decommissioning plans in coming weeks

    Written by Mark Lammey – 10/12/2016 12:02 am

    Shell said today that it had submitted “a majority” of the plan for its Brent field decommissioning campaign to the UK Government.

    Earlier, WWF Scotland cited a Shell communique to stakeholders as saying the plan was with the UK department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis).

    But a spokesman for Shell later confirmed that the submission process had not been fully completed.

    The remaining documents are expected to be handed in during the next few weeks, with a 60-day public consultation to start early next year. read more

    Pleased to assist Leigh Day in Suing Shell says John Donovan

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    The High Court in London today began hearing the latest case against Royal Dutch Shell brought by the London law firm Leigh Day on behalf of Nigerian claimants.

    Thousands of farmers and fishermen located in the Niger River Delta region who have suffered from oil spills and related toxic pollution. 

    Leigh Day approached me last year making “an impassioned appeal” for my help, after first contacting me via Greenpeace.

    This is not an unusual occurrence. Many parties contemplating or involved in litigation against Shell contact me after becoming aware of my Shell related website activities and a decades-long history of dealing with Shell, including its army of lawyers (over a thousand) and spooks (Shell Global Security and their external spy firm Hakluyt). read more

    Oil chiefs under fire over ‘pathetic’ new climate investment fund

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    Emily Gosden, energy editor: 4 NOVEMBER 2016 • 7:53PM

    Oil giants including BP and Shell have been pilloried by climate campaigners after disclosing their annual contributions to a much-hyped new green investment fund would be less than BP chief Bob Dudley earned last year.

    Mr Dudley and Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden were among industry heavyweights who appeared at an event in London to announce plans by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) to invest $1bn in “innovative low emissions technologies” over the next ten years. read more

    Shell, Chevron Drop Off Platts Top 10 Energy Firm List

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    screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-21-16-05By Irina Slav – Oct 03, 2016, 10:26 AM CDT

    Shell and Chevron were among the international oil giants that fell off the top 10 companies of 2016 in the S&P Platts’ annual ranking of the 250 biggest companies by assets and revenues. The asset value and revenue figures are all for 201—the year when the oil price collapse really began to be felt.

    The USA Today quotes Platts as saying the changes in the top 10 segment reflected the continuing depression on international oil markets. The price slump, Platts said, hit oil and gas majors’ earnings hard, and it also led to a serious devaluation of assets, meanwhile benefiting companies with stronger downstream operations, pure-play refiners, and power utilities. read more

    Brent Spar: The sea is not a dustbin

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    Blogpost by Rex Weyler – 23 September 2016

    In August 2016, Prestel Books published Photos That Changed the World, including this image of the Greenpeace Brent Spar campaign, captured by David Sims on 16 June 1995.

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    The story begins in the 1950s, when Royal Dutch Shell found oil near Groningen, in Permian sandstone linked to North Sea formations. By 1971, Shell had located the giant Brent oilfield in the North Sea, 220km east of Shetland, England. The Brent field produced a valuable, low sulphur crude, and set the standard for the European, or “Brent”, oil price. read more

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