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Nigerian House of Representatives to investigate allegations against Shell

DAILY SUN

Reps to probe Shell over allegations of sponsoring rival N’Delta militants
From JAMES OJO, Abuja
Thursday, October 06, 2011

Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has been summoned by the House of Representatives to explain alleged involvement in the series of killings and clashes in the Niger Delta, especially in Rumuekpe village of Rivers State. The management would face the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) to clear its linkage with militant activities in the region.

Although, the company, which first struck crude oil in commercial quantities in Oloibiri village, in present Bayelsa state in 1956 had denied the allegations that it bought guns and ammunition for militants in area. Voting on a motion by Hon Andrew Uchendu (PDP Rivers state), he said the Shell sponsored the crises in the region, the House said that investigating the allegations will enable the House unravel the truth in it or otherwise.

The motion drew attention of the lawmakers to publications in some national newspapers, which reported that investigations had revealed that the company sponsored and fuelled crises in the region. Uchendu argued that Shell Development company had done too little to develop the communities, including Rumuekpe village where oil was struck in 1958.

Each time Shell is accused of neglecting its host communities, Hon Uchendu said that the company had the attitude of denying it, saying that the House must rise up to look into the activities of the company. An international Non-Governmental Organization [NGO] in the Oil and Gas sector based in London had in its latest report indicted Shell of directly funding rival groups leading to the death of about 60 people in the Niger Delta communities.

In line with the new order of the House, Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal put the motion to vote and it was unanimously adopted by the members.

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