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Posts under ‘Ken Saro-Wiwa’


Mark Robinson

Last week, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) revealed that it is facing charges in the Netherlands relating to corruption allegations surrounding a Nigerian oil bloc called OPL 245. Shell and Italian major ENI SpA (ENI.IM) acquired the licence in 2011 for around $1.3bn (£992m), but it’s alleged that a significant proportion of the monies was destined for use as kickbacks for politicians and officials, with former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete – a convicted money launderer – acting as the principal intermediary. Although the funds were paid to the Nigerian government, it’s claimed that they found their way into the coffers of Malabu Oil and Gas — a company linked to Mr Etete. read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:

Shell accused of complicity in Nigerian murders

Esther Kiobel poses with a picture of her late husband, one of nine men executed by Nigeria’s military government after a peaceful uprising against Shell in 1995. Photograph: Amnesty International

By John Donovan

I heard from a major news organisation that Esther Kiobel brought up my name several times during an interview at the Dutch court hearing yesterday, kindly expressing her thanks for my help.

Esther approached me after the US Supreme Court decision that thwarted on jurisdiction grounds her attempts to sue Shell in the USA for complicity in the murder of her husband, Dr Barinem Kiobel. It took over a decade of litigation to arrive at that decision. read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:

Nigeria, Shell killed my husband… Ogoni widow tells court in The Hague

ESTHER Kiobel, one of the widows of the nine environmental activists that were hanged by the Nigerian Military government in 1995, has given testimony in the court case she filed against Shell, an international oil company, over the killing of her husband.

Kiobel and three other widows whose husbands were also among those executed accuse Shell of complicity in the execution of their husbands, and they want the Netherlands-based oil giant to pay them compensation.

Following her husband’s execution, Kiobel said she had to flee to the United States under a refugee programme later became a citizen. The three other women joining her in the suit were not granted visas to travel to attend the court proceedings. read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:

Shell in court over Nigerian protestor deaths

By Umar Ali: 12 FEBRUARY 2019

Judges in The Hague, Netherlands will begin hearing a case against Shell on Tuesday, with the oil company facing allegations of complicity in a number of human rights violations in Nigeria.

They will hear testimonies from four women of the Ogoni people, who hold Shell partly responsible for the execution of their husbands by the Nigerian military in 1995.

Nine men, including protest leader Ken Saro-Wiwa, were executed by the Nigerian military regime. The “Ogoni Nine” were outspoken critics of Shell’s operations in Ogoniland, a 1,000km2 kingdom in southern Nigeria, and the plaintiffs claim that Shell encouraged the Nigerian Government to unlawfully detain and execute these men. read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:

Shell’s History in Nigeria Comes to Haunt It on Its Home Turf

By Kelly Gilblom: 12 February 2019, 17:35 GMT: Updated on 13 February 2019, 00:01 GMT

*Hague court hearing if Shell was complicit in Nigeria killings

*Widow of executed Nigerian man brings a case to the Netherlands

A two-decade fight over whether Royal Dutch Shell Plc contributed to the execution of nine Nigerian oil-industry critics has landed at the company’s doorstep.

A court in The Hague, Netherlands heard its first arguments on Tuesday, as part of determining if Shell played any role when the military dictatorship ruling Nigeria convicted nine men, including well-known activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, of murder and then executed them in 1995. read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:


Amnesty International sign: Esther Kiobel standing outside Dutch Court building 12 February 2019

Declaration of Esther Kiobel

Hon. (Dr) Barinem Nubari Kiobel was a man with a prodigy with refined heart that cared for others. A kind-hearted man that was selfless. He was a wonderful husband, a God-fearing man, good Father, brother and a best Friend. He was the finest definition of refinement, consummate technocrat and upright character. He has been very much missed and will always be remembered. read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:


Graeme Gallagher | Contributor: 21 Feb 2019

The Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company is on trial for complicity in the death of four Nigerian activists over 20 years ago, according to Amnesty International.

The wives of those four activists — Esther Kiobel, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula — are all demanding compensation and an apology for the death of their husbands in a civil case that started on Tuesday in The Hague, Netherlands.

The four husbands were part of nine activists who were hanged by the military regime due to their massive protests against oil pollution in the Nigerian Ogoniland in 1995. The case brought by the four women accuses Shell of being complicity with the executions.

“These women believe that their husbands would still be alive today were it not for the brazen self-interest of Shell, which encouraged the Nigerian government’s bloody crackdown on protesters even when it knew the human cost,” said Mark Dummett, business and human rights researcher at Amnesty International.

The four plaintiffs are accusing Shell of the unlawful detention of their husbands, the violation of their husbands’ integrity, the violation of the right to a fair trial and to life, and their own right to a family life, according to the Amnesty report. In addition, the plaintiffs are calling for the court to order Shell to hand over more than 100,000 related documents to the case.

The Dutch-based oil company has denied these allegations.

“We have always denied, in the strongest possible terms, the allegations made in this tragic case,” Shell said in a statement. “The Shell Petroleum Development Company did not collude with the authorities to suppress community unrest, it in no way encouraged or advocated any act of violence in Nigeria, and it had no role in the arrest, trial and execution of these men.”

Kioble and Victoria Bera were in court today, with the other two being unable to make it due to denied visas.

“The abuses my family and l went through are such an awful experience that has left us traumatized to date without help,” wrote Kiobel in a written statement.  “We all have lived with so much pain and agony, but rather than giving up, the thought of how ruthlessly my husband was killed … has spurred me to remain resilient in my fight for justice.”

Kiobel has been fighting since she first filed her case in 2002. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, ruled that it had no jurisdiction in the case in 2013, in which the court never fully examined the allegations. Amnesty International has helped Kiobel’s legal team bring the case to the Netherlands in 2017.

“It’s time to bring an end to decades of impunity for Shell,” said Dummett, “These women’s courage, resilience and determination to clear their husband’s names and bring Shell to account is inspirational. They have the support of Amnesty International activists all over the world.” read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:

Ogoni widows testify at The Hague over Shell’s alleged complicity in killings

Victoria Bera (left) and Esther Kiobel outside the courtroom in The Hague. Photograph: Pierre Crom/Getty Images

Four Nigerian women at the centre of a long-running legal battle against oil giant Royal Dutch Shell saw their historic case reach the Hague on Tuesday.

The company is accused of complicity in the state execution of nine Ogoni protesters and human right abuses dating back to 1993. The allegations concern the 1990s violent government crackdown in Ogoniland, in the oil-rich Niger delta region, where oil spills inflicted environmental damage on a huge scale.

The Netherlands court will decide whether a case can proceed after hearing arguments from both sides on Tuesday. read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:

Nigeria: Ogoni widow testifies against Shell in The Hague

12 Feb 2019

The widow of a Nigerian activist suing oil giant Shell over the execution of her husband says his death left her “traumatised” and “poverty-stricken”.

Esther Kiobel is testifying in court in The Hague, demanding compensation from the Netherlands-based firm.

She is among four women who accuse Shell of being complicit in the hanging of their husbands by Nigeria’s military in 1995. Shell denies the allegation. read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:

BBC WORLD SERVICE: Nigerian widows in court to sue Shell

A banner displayed outside the court in support of one of the widows expected to testify

12 Feb 2019

A civil court case is getting underway in the Netherlands, brought by Nigerian Ogoni activists against The Hague-based oil company, Royal Dutch Shell.

The firm is accused of having been complicit in the executions of nine Ogoni men during a Nigerian military crackdown in 1995.

Four of their widows are suing Shell for compensation and demanding an apology.

Shell denies any wrongdoing, saying it never colluded with Nigerian authorities or advocated any act of violence. read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:



By Janene Pieters on February 12, 2019 – 15:30

Four Nigerian women are suing Shell in the court in The Hague. They’re demanding apologies and compensation from the Dutch oil and gas giant for the execution of their husbands in Nigeria in 1995. According to the widows, and Amnesty International who is supporting them, because they were critical of Shell and the regime, RTL Nieuws reports. read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:

Traumatised Nigerian widows confront Shell in Dutch court

The husbands of Victoria Bera (L) and Esther Kiobel (R), were executed in 1995

The widows of four Nigerian activists executed by the military regime in the 1990s launched a court case in the Netherlands Tuesday against oil giant Shell for complicity in their deaths.

Esther Kiobel, whose husband Barinem was hanged in 1995 along with famed writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and seven others, said the “horrible” experience had left her “traumatised”.

The widows allege that Anglo-Dutch Shell helped in the arrest of the men, who had sought to peacefully disrupt the oil giant’s work in Nigeria’s Ogoni region because of health and environmental impacts.

Shell said it was “inconceivable” that it could have been involved in the death of the men.

Kiobel and one of the other widows, Victoria Bera, were in court in The Hague for opening arguments in the case against Shell, while the other two women whose husbands were killed were denied visas to attend.

“My husband had a good heart. Now I am a poor widow who has lost everything,” Kiobel was quoted as telling the court in The Hague by Dutch news agency ANP.

“The abuses that my family and I went through were a horrible experience that has traumatised us to this day,” added Kiobel, who fled Nigeria in 1998 and now lives in the United States. read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:

Netherlands: After 23 years, appalling allegations against Shell to be heard in court

12 February 2019, 00:01 UTC

A Dutch court will today hear the first arguments in a historic case against Shell, in which the oil giant stands accused of instigating a raft of horrifying human rights violations committed by the Nigerian government against the Ogoni people in the 1990s. Esther Kiobel, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula are suing Shell over what they say is its role in the unlawful arrest, detention and execution of their husbands by the Nigerian military, following a brutal crackdown on Ogoni protests against Shell’s devastating pollution of the region.

Amnesty International, which is supporting the plaintiffs and legal team bringing the case, has independently documented Shell’s role in killings, rape and torture carried out by the Nigerian government in its effort to crush protests. Barinem Kiobel, Baribor Bera, Nordu Eawo and Paul Levula were hanged in 1995 after a sham trial. Their widows are now demanding compensation and a public apology from Shell. Five other men, including protest leader Ken Saro-Wiwa, were executed alongside them and they have become collectively known as the Ogoni Nine. read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:


U.S. Supreme Court Esther Kiobel decision on Monday 7 Jan 2019

Esther Kiobels’ late husband Dr Barinem Kiobel was one of the “Ogoni 9” executed by hanging two decades ago by a corrupt Nigerian military regime in bed with Shell. Esther holds Shell responsible for complicity in her husbands’ death and has sought justice ever since.

Her action in the U.S. courts against Shell which commenced in 1996, took a decade to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. Their decision on a legal technicality ended the litigation. In a precedent-setting decision, the U.S. Supreme court decided in April 2012 that Esther could not sue Shell in the USA for human rights crimes that took place in a foreign jurisdiction – Nigeria.

At that point, Esther contacted me to see if I could help, as she needed funding for any further litigation and advice on how best to proceed.

Astonishingly, Esther’s basic case has never been heard in court. Shell has successfully blocked her litigation for over 20 years by exploiting legal technicalities. 

I introduced her to a Dutch law firm with the intention of suing Shell in its home country. With the help and support of Amnesty International, a Writ was served on Shell in the Netherlands in June 2017. That litigation is in progress with the first court hearing due next month.

In preparation for the Dutch litigation, Esther applied to the U.S. courts in Oct 2016 for access to Shell discovery assembled for the thwarted U.S. litigation. The action was against Shell’s U.S. law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP who had retained 100,000 plus discovery items in a secure warehouse.

A U.S. Federal judge ordered Cravath to hand over the Shell internal discovery docs. Cravath appealed against his decision on 14 February 2018, and his decision was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Lawyers acting for Esther then petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.

On Monday 7 Jan 2019 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to do so.

So two U.S. Supreme Court wins for commercial Goliath (Shell) and nothing but disappointment for the destitute outraged widow of a Nigerian official hanged on trumped-up charges by a corrupt Nigerian despot carrying out Shell’s ruthless orders.

The trial was widely discredited. The verdict ignited global outrage. It led to Nigeria’s suspension from the Commonwealth.

Esther now lives in the USA where she is training to be a nurse.

Below is a link (and screenshot) for the U.S. Supreme Court website confirming the decision to decline the Petition.

Related article on a U.S court reporting website operating behind a paywall: High Court Won’t Review Cravath Shell Docs Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from a Nigerian activist’s widow who asked the court to review the Second Circuit’s decision barring her from obtaining Royal Dutch Shell PLC documents held by Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP for her suit against the energy giant in the Netherlands…

Disclosure by the author of this article: The lead claimant Esther Kiobel, her lawyer Channa Samkalden of the Dutch human rights law firm Prakken d’Oliveira representing the widows, and the acclaimed human rights organisation Amnesty International, have all acknowledged the involvement of John Donovan in bringing *this case. (*See Writ of Summons in English and Dutch served on Shell 28 June 2017 – copy obtained from US Pacer public electronic court records) read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:

The Ogoni Struggle is About Human Rights and Freedom

Their hope and expectations were that Saro-Wiwa’s hanging would silence the Ogoni people and send signals to the rest of Nigeria’s Niger Delta about what awaits anyone who raises questions about the unfair and inhuman distribution of the wealth of the people of the Niger Delta.

By Fegalo Nsuke

Ogoni, the people and the land represent an oppressed nationality, a people persecuted by their own government for seeking respect for their human and environmental rights especially over their natural endowments, a people whose government have authorized its armed forces to unleash on them, unimaginable brutality with assurances that military crimes against the Ogoni people will never be questioned nor punished.

Over 4,000 Ogonis have been killed since 1993 in state-sponsored terrorism and quite regrettably, no one has been prosecuted, punished or indicted in the Ogoni saga. read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:

Shell Kills Ogoni


Even after his arrest, Kiobel bravely campaigned to improve conditions in his home area, writing to Komo to appeal for a military withdrawal from Gokana (in Ogoniland) because of “indiscriminate shootings, killing of innocent persons.” 

Extracts from pages 35 & 36 of an Amnesty International document entitled: “A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE? SHELL’S INVOLVEMENT IN HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN NIGERIA IN THE 1990s”

Ken Saro-Wiwa: Before launching MOSOP, Ken Saro-Wiwa, from Bane in Ogoniland, was a successful writer. From 1985-90, some 30 million Nigerians tuned in every week to Basi and Company, a comedy-drama he wrote for Nigerian TV.152 Several of his books won international acclaim, including Sozaboy: A Novel in Rotten English, and On a Darkling Plain.153 The prosecution accused Ken Saro-Wiwa of inciting his supporters to kill the four chiefs meeting at Giokoo. It claimed that shortly before the attacks, he told a group of supporters “to deal with the “vultures.”154 The only witnesses to allege this, Charles Danwi and Nayone Akpa, subsequently signed alleging that the government and Shell had bribed them to make false statements (see above.)155 Ken Saro-Wiwa denied the accusation.156 read more and its sister websites,,,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article:
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