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Posts Tagged ‘John Donovan’

Kiobel Writ Extract: Nigeria in the 1990s: The Nigerian Junta

…Shell continued to collaborate closely with the regime during Abacha’s period of government and it regularly offered the regime a helping hand. Shell was prepared for instance to procure weapons, to maintain a network of informants and to make its means of transport available for military operations.

By John Donovan

The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the English translation of a 138 page Writ of Summons served on Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017 by Dutch Human Rights law firm Prakken d’Oliveira. They represent four widows including Esther Kiobel who hold Shell liable for the murder of their husbands, individual Ogoni leaders now known collectively as the ‘Ogoni Nine‘. The famed writer and community leader, Ken Saro-Wiwa was one of the group. For the purpose of this online publication, the footnotes are indicated in red text. read more

Disastrous consequences of oil extraction in Ogoniland

By John Donovan

The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the English translation of a 138 page Writ of Summons served on several Royal Dutch Shell companies last week by Dutch Human Rights law firm Prakken d’Oliveira. They represent several widows led by Esther Kiobel, who hold Shell liable for the murder of their husbands, from an Ogoni leadership group known collectively as the ‘Ogoni Nine‘.

EXTRACTS

3.2 Consequences of oil extraction in Ogoniland

43. Ogoniland has been the homeland of the Ogoni, a population group of around 500,000 people in 1994. Currently around 1.5 million people live in Ogoniland. read more

Goodluck Jonathan summoned to testify about OPL 245 scandal

By John Donovan

Earlier today, Reuters reported that the Nigerian House of Representatives has formally summoned former President Goodluck Jonathan to testify about the OPL 245 deal involving Shell and Eni.

Barnaby Pace, Campaigner for Global Witness says:

The Jonathan administration agreed this corrupt deal with major oil companies that deprived the Nigerian people of at least $1.1billion. That’s more than Nigeria’s health budget for 2016. The Nigerian people deserve answers from Goodluck Jonathan and for those responsible for this scandal to be held to account, whether they are inside or outside Nigeria, from Government to boardrooms. read more

Shell Chair admits unequal Shell pensioner support 

Sinead Lynch, Chair Shell UK Limited

Astonishingly, the Shell Chair admits that the downgraded support arrangements for Shell UK pensioners are “over and above that provided for Shell pensioners in other countries around the world.” I wonder what the foreign second class Shell pensioners will make of this admission of Shell pensioner inequality made by the Country Chair of Shell UK Limited? Is pensioner discrimination based on nationality compatible with Shell’s claimed business principles? 

By John Donovan

In December 2016, we published an article reporting that Shell is scrapping the network of 45 Pensioner Liaison Representatives established over 40 years ago, who represent 28,000 Shell UK pensioners. Shell said the action was down to cost-cutting arising from the BG takeover and the low price of oil. 

See: Shell cost-cutting plan will undermine the welfare of its pensioners

The cost-cutting explanation has been confirmed again in a letter dated 7 June 2017 from Sinead Lynch, the Chair of Shell UK Limited sent to retired Shell executive Paddy Briggs, until recently an elected Director of the Shell Contributory Pension Fund. read more

Briefing on Esther Kiobel and her executed husband Dr. Barinem Kiobel

On 10 November 1995, Dr. Barinem Kiobel, the husband of Ether Kiobel, was executed along with other members of the so-called ‘Ogoni 9’ – including Ken Saro-Wiwa – all leaders of the Ogoni people. Esther and other ‘Ogoni 9’ widows hold Shell responsible for its part in what has been widely described as ‘Judicial Murder’.

On 1 September 2002 Esther Kiobel and eleven other (surviving relatives of) Nigerian activists from the Ogoni area sued Shell before the American court. read more

Shell says Ogoni 9 lawsuit widows are liars

By John Donovan

Although Shell did not use the exact words featured in the headline, it was the clear meaning of Shell’s outright rejection of the claims set forth in the Writ of Summons issued on 29 June 2017 against multiple companies within the Royal Dutch Shell Group. This is what the Manager Director/Country Chair of  The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited actually said in his letter dated 22 June 2017 to Amnesty International.

The allegations cited in you letter against RDS and SPDC are false and without merit. SPDC did not collude with the military authorities to suppress community unrest and in no way encouraged or advocated any act of violence in Nigeria. In fact, the company believes that dialogue is the best way to resolve disputes. We have always denied these allegations, in the strongest possible terms. read more

Shell Money Laundering for Saudi Arabia

Once again the conspiracy involved a shadowy man associated with Shell, said to be an MI6 agent. Not John Copleston or Guy Colgate of OPL 245 fame, but a spy from an earlier generation of British spooks – Stephan Kock – reportedly responsible for ordering assassinations.

By John Donovan

As has been widely reported, Shell and former/current senior managers up to executive director level face criminal charges in connection with the OPL 245 corruption scandal. Apart from other issues, Shell is accused of money laundering along with Eni. If found guilty, there is no prospect of Shell reducing any penalty by pleading it’s a first offence, because that is not the case. 

In the 1980’s, Shell and BP played a money-laundering role in the Al-Yamamah project generating slush funds associated with Saudi arms contracts which helped to fund terrorism and corruption, including massive bribes to Saudi royals by the main contractor, BAe Systems. read more

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL CORRUPTION

By John Donovan: Monday 19 June 2017

It is interesting, in view of subsequent events, to reflect back on an “Investigations Case Manager” job Shell advertised a decade ago.

Extract

The successful candidate for this role will provide specialist advice, awareness training, information and expert investigative resources to all Group companies worldwide on practices which conflict with Shell Group Business Principles. These include fraud, contract corruption (illegal information brokering), bribery, money-laundering and organised crime. read more

Shell Corporate Espionage?

Several years ago I corresponded with senior Royal Dutch Shell lawyers concerning allegations made by a former employee of Shell Oil Company, Mr Frank Joseph Trunk III., about alleged Shell sponsored industrial espionage.

The ingenious Mr Trunk filed for patents in the 1990’s and early 2000’s that define certain novel technologies with important dual use (military and civilian) applications.

It is quite likely that in a related move Shell tried to patent the use of spread spectrum signaling for controlling a BOP in a noisy environment, based on the number of other things they tried to patent disclosed to them under confidentiality agreements. Digital spread spectrum acoustic signaling is also used in a number of naval/military applications. read more

Contemptible Shell Says Irish Supreme Court

 

John Donovan

The link at the foot of this article is to a judgement released by the Irish Supreme Court earlier today.

It relates to the Shell led Corrib gas project in Ireland, beset by controversy from the outset, including bribery and corruption sponsored by Shell. 

Landowners from Rossport North County Mayo who objected to Shell’s land grab plans and put environmental considerations before personal reward, were jailed at the behest of Shell. They became known as the Rossport Five

One high-minded Rossport landowner, Monica Muller, launched a court action against Shell in October 2007 alleging that Shell had entered her land without her permission. read more

Shell’s dismal track record on transparency

“Shell is very different from Enron. We were criticized for that some time ago and I’’m glad we have a absolutely rock-solid way we do business. It’s all completely transparent, as far as Shell is concerned.”

By John Donovan

Following publication of my article Shell false pledges of transparency and openness contributors to this website have been accused of hating Shell. That is not the case.

Many of us do, however, take great exception to the hypocritical claims made by successive RDS Chairman and CEO’s over many years that Shell operates within an ethical code – the General Business Principles – which includes a pledge of transparency.

Shell Group Chairman Sir Mark Moody-Stuart preached transparency while conspiring with senior colleagues to hide information from Shell shareholders. 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

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