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Nigerian Sunday Tribune: Communities to sue Shell, Nestoil, soldiers for maltreatment, killing

Sunday 7 October 2007

Communities to sue Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), and one of its contractor-companies, Nestoil Limited, for allegedly threatening their lives and for the killing of a youth from one of the communities.

The paramount ruler of the Igbu Ipata kingdom, Eze Clifford Nwuche, who disclosed this to journalists during a press briefing in Port Harcourt, said he had personally reached out to the companies, the state government and the army on the developments in the area before it went fatal.

According to the ruler, SPDC and its associate companies had inflicted untold hardship on the people of the area, taking away their source of livelihood, and threatened them to the point of death.

He alleged that Nestoil had violated the people’s non-violent protest against the inhumanity by inviting soldiers who killed one of their youths and wounded many others.

The royal father said problem started some thirteen years ago when SPDC, which has some facilities within the communities’ vicinity, used and damaged the road that the people had built.

Since then, he said, the communities had been calling on SPDC to repair the road, but had been giving substandard repairs, which usually collapsed in less than a year. When they finally requested it to do a durable road, the company said it did not have money to do it.

The situation, however, got out of hand last Friday when youths of the community decided to block the road to disallow Nestoil staff and equipment from passing, soldiers on the team’s escort killed one of the protesters.

To this end, Eze Nwuche said the people have decided to institute a legal action against the SPDC, Nestoil and the soldiers on the escort of the Nestoil team which killed a youth last Friday.

He said since all the letters, copies of which he made available to the Sunday Tribune, mailed to the companies, the state government and the army had failed to yield results, the communities would go to court to compel SPDC to rebuild the road it destroyed with the exact quality it was before they asked for permission to use it.

http://www.tribune.com.ng/07102007/news/news9.html

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