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Shell expat spent time in the same Nigerian prison as Ken Saro-Wiwa

Image from Shell In Nigeria website


Hello John

Saw your pic with Esther Kiobel on the website. Brought back some old memories.

I cannot find any stuff on this but did you know that a certain *Xxxx Xxxxxxxxxx was working in Port Harcourt when his wife was murdered in the Shell camp in their own bungalow?

Forgot the date, must have been in the early 90s.

The camp split threefold: 

1. all Nigerians claimed he or another expat done it 

2. all Dutch agreed and were convinced he done it

3. all Brits backed him and assumed it was a Nigerian robber

Xxxx spent quite some time in the prison of Port Harcourt awaiting trial or investigation. This was the same prison that held Saro Wiwa et all. Shell spent quite some money on fixing up the prison so Xxxxxxxxxx would survive. Food and medicine provided, anti-malaria measures taken (putting screens in the windows and spraying etc). Take it from me, staying in a Nigerian prison is a bit less than a five-star hotel.

I forget if it was wife #2 that was murdered, maybe I am mixing up with the murder in Warri in 1979 of the wife of a Bristow pilot. That was definitely #2 and his first wife had disappeared a few years early without trace…. the police came to do a forensic investigation in the house. But being Nigerians this took place some 6 weeks after the event and after another family had moved in. That pilot was transferred to Aberdeen but never flew again and he was shunned by his colleagues.

So it probably was wife #1 for XXXXXXXXXX. He remarried pretty soon after he was released and moved out of Nigeria. No idea if he was found not guilty or there was no proof or whatever. He continued to work for Shell but it was a difficult situation for many. 

Others who worked in PH may have recollections?

Agatha Christie could have written some good whodunnits on this.

But it is a fact that a Shell expat spent some time in the same prison as Saro Wiwa and that has been kept very low key by Shell. 

Have a nice day.


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One Comment

  1. Peter Morrison says:

    Shell did not “keep this quiet”. This was before social media took off and all friends of this fellow in many far flung parts of the world knew of the situation.

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