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Shell threatens the followers of Ken Saro-Wiwa with secret agents and subpoena

NUOS INT’L: Shell threatens the followers of Ken Saro-Wiwa with secret agents and subpoena

An article by Christian S. Yorgure, Project Co-ordinator, NUOS INT’L

Posted 17 June 2004

As the Royal/Dutch Shell sails troubled waters, it is doing everything possible to net anyone connected to Ken Saro-Wiwa in ideology. Shell serving a subpoena on the National Union of Ogoni Students Int’l is a ruse. It is just to make the public believe that that they are using legal means to challenge accusations. No! Shell pays agents who do dirty jobs; they use high government and community officials who are easily swayed with money.

The Ogoni people have suffered terrible environmental hazards for over 3 decades of oil exploration and drilling activities in their homeland without compensation. The Ogoni people made history by successfully protesting the evil of the giant multinational; a campaign that embarrassed Shell. In reaction, Shell used the then military power in Nigeria to commit a world record level mayhem of the indigenous Ogoni people.

The massacre of thousands of the Ogoni people of Nigeria in 1993, and a trial which is believed to have been sponsored by Shell that led to the unfortunate hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni Human and Environmental Rights Activist in 1995, does not seem enough. Shell’s war against the undaunted Ogonis looms on.

It was about 10 pm on June 1, 2004 that I received a call from the Secretariat of the National Union of Ogoni Students International (NUOS Int’l) detailing an encounter with an agent of Shell who only introduced himself as a detective. According to the NUOS’ Secretary, the detective presented himself in an unruly manner and refused to answer any questions as he served a copy of the subpoena.

As the Ogoni Class action against Shell gathers momentum, the company who has not been able to penetrate the undaunted youths behind the suit, have chosen to thread a sinister path; hounding down the Ogonis who truly believe and lead the campaign as Ken Saro-Wiwa.

NUOS Int’l is a righteous voice echoing the sufferings of the entire Ogoni people. They have organized many seminars both in Europe and the United States. In 2001, NUOS Int’l protested against the World Environmental Center’s Seventeenth Annual Gold medal Award for International Corporate Achievement to the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies. To doubt the sinister culture of Shell is an exhibition of gross ignorance; and to continue to invest in Shell in my opinion makes you a murderer.

It is unfortunate to realize that people can still be fooled by Shell despite the much publicized atrocities committed the world over but particularly, in under-developed countries. The revealing accounts of Dr. John Huong, who was Shell’s geologist for almost 30 years and the Affidavit of Alfred Ernest Donovan, who has had a business relationship with Shell for over 40 years, are appropriate references illustrating Shell’s unethical practices. These testimonies corroborate the fact that Shell’s true business practice is to lie and cheat.

As published in the Financial Times of June 09, 2004 under the heading “Deep well of troubles in Nigeria” Shell reiterated its determination to remain in Nigeria. However, the Ogoni people who are well aware of the tactics of Shell have vowed to keep them out of their land. The members of NOUS Int’l are determined to go the length with Shell intellectually and legally. “… Shell is also on trial….” – Ken Saro-Wiwa. “Shell must restore the flora and fauna in Ogoni; Shell must clean up Ogoni and pay enough compensation for several thousands of lives lost as a result of their involvement in the area since 1959”, a member echoed. “Not even the subpoena served by a sinister operative can deter us; we must demand our rights legitimately”, another member said during a group discussion.


E-mail address to contact Christian:

Link to the website of the National Union of Ogoni Students International:

Related Class Action Litigation against Shell:

Paper by Alfred Donovan prepared for presentation at the National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS International, USA) Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska, held on 26/27 June 2004

Email from Mr Charles Wiwa, nephew of the late Nobel Laureate Ken Saro-Wiwa 7 July 04


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