Shell Pays Up In Nigerian Human Rights & Ken Saro-Wiwa Execution Case

In the lawsuit, the families of the Ogoni nine alleged Shell conspired with the military government to capture and hang the men. Shell was also accused of a series of other alleged human rights violations, including working with the army to bring about killings and torture of Ogoni ­protesters.

The company was alleged to have provided the Nigerian army with vehicles, patrol boats and ammunition, and to have helped plan raids and terror campaigns against villages.

Supporters of the legal action said the fact that Shell had walked away from the trial suggested the company had been anxious about the evidence that would have been presented had it gone ahead. Stephen Kretzmann, director of Oil Change International, said Shell “knew the case was overwhelming against them, so they bought their way out of a trial”…

… from the Guardian story Shell pays out $15.5m over Saro-Wiwa killing

Shell To Pay US$15.5 Million Over Nigerian Government Execution Of Nine Activists

Ken Saro-Wiwa - "Shell has blood on its hands"

Ken Saro-Wiwa - "Shell has blood on its hands"

Considering that Shell makes about US$3 million dollars profit per hour – every hour of every day – we’d say they got off pretty lightly for their environmental rape of Nigeria and (denied) complicity in the hangings of nine innocent Nigerians who wanted clean air, water and soil for their children.

Why did Shell settle at the last moment before the trial was due to begin in New York City?

Because going to trial would have exposed the truth about Shell in Nigeria to the whole world. US$15.5 million is pocket change to make risk go away.

What is the Lesson for Barbados Farmers Coping With Shell Oil’s Barbados Pipeline Spills?

Barbado Environment Denis Lowe (left) remains silent on the Shell Oil spill since his election.

Since his election, Barbados Environment Minister Denis Lowe (left) is suddenly silent on Shell Oil spill.

Perhaps the lesson in Barbados should be to sue the hell out of Shell. After 15 years of Shell ducking and dodging their responsibility, the Shell Barbados pipeline spill case needs to go to court.

We’d advise the Barbados Government to charge Shell with environmental offenses of failing to keep records, spilling petroleum and failing to clean up the spill – except that Barbados has no environmental legislation. That’s right folks – we don’t even have a law that requires Shell Oil to check their pipes and tanks every day for leaks.

Welcome to Barbados: where we have no hazardous materials standards and companies can pollute at will without worrying about the consequences.

How much did Shell Oil “donate” to the “political campaigns” of the DLP and BLP?

Oh, sorry… no legal requirement for anyone to reveal that, either!

Further Reading

Wall Street Journal: Shell Settles Nigeria Case

Times Online: Shell agrees $15.5m settlement over death of Saro-Wiwa and eight others

BFP: Shell Oil Announces Pipeline Spill A Non-Issue – Barbados News Media & Government Ask Zero Questions Of Company Hired To “Ensure Buy-In” To Shell Strategies

BFP: Shell Oil Pollutes And Runs In Barbados. After 15 Years Government Has The Answer: Committee Of Politicians

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17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Disaster, Environment, Ethics, Nigeria, Oil, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

17 responses to “Shell Pays Up In Nigerian Human Rights & Ken Saro-Wiwa Execution Case

  1. Sargeant

    BFP

    except that Barbados has no environmental legislation. That’s right folks – we don’t even have a law that requires Shell Oil to check their pipes and tanks every day for leaks
    ***********************************************

    Didn’t Liz T receive an award from a UN agency for environmental stewardship when she was the Minister of Environment? What was that for? Perhaps it was our turn to get an award.

  2. Paradox

    What Shell has done in Nigeria is of no surprise to most people. Its is typically the behaviour of many conglomerates in the developing and to a lesser extent developed countries.
    Where a buck can be made, moral behaviour takes second place.

    There are countless examples of violations around the world and not many governments seem willing to address them. Why this is so, I can only express an opinion.
    Power is in money and one needs to have money in order to challenge the other.

    In a corrupt country it is far too easy to buy your way.

    Oftentimes when proven in a court of law, the company will appeal over and over.

    Those who have fought for the families should be commended. No one should have to go through such trauma for that length of time.

  3. Nostradamus

    “Oftentimes when proven in a court of law, the company will appeal over and over.”

    What these companies are more afraid of is the court of public opinion, hence the out of court settlement by Shell.

  4. Nostradamus

    Anyone seen this story in either the Nation or Advocate?

  5. Roxanne

    I did see a Shell fuel advertisement in the Advocate!

  6. passin thru

    Liz Thompson received her award on the basis of speeches she made about her guvments intention to make promises that were intended to help the environment.

    Get it?

    She did not win the award on the basis of actions that the guvment did for the environment.

    Sad but true. Also hilarious.

  7. Jason

    Denis Lowe was one of the opposition people who attended with Adrian Loveridge in early January 2008 and pulled a bucket full of jet fuel from a well.

    That was during the election campaign.

    After the election campaign, Environment Minister Lowe never again mentioned the Shell pipeline jet fuel contamination and spill.

  8. Are they any good environmental lawyers out there who want to take on a case pro bono going after greedy and reckless west coast condo developers who are destroying beaches, threatening homes and other private property, causing neighbours to spend oodles of money which they don’t have, and wiping out turtle nesting areas, etc.?

  9. Sargeant

    Lawyers in Barbados taking a case pro bono?
    Hee-heee-heee-
    haaaa-haaa-haaa-
    hohohohohoho-
    Wuhlosss mah belly-
    Hol mah- Ah gwine fall down- Get de smellin salts

  10. Well, they may have to go after some very, very wealthy American Jews. Doesn’t that change the picture?

  11. reality check

    The photo of Lowe says it all!!!

  12. Hants

    Showing yuh age wid de “las class laff”.

    Remembering”The Mighty Charmer”. A good old time Bajan calypsonian.

    I showing my age too. “he he he”

    We probably got de youngsters confuse.

  13. Sargeant

    Showing our age, The Mighty Charmer had a hit with that one. I’ll try to see if I can get Peas, Rice and Coconut Oil from The Mighty Gerry in some time. That will really send the youngsters around the bend.

  14. San Diego

    Sargeant, believe it or not, I still have the old 78 wax record of that song! Here are some of the words: “Oh me mama don’t drink no gin ‘cos it makes her sin,
    Oh, mama don’t drink no gin ‘cos it makes her sin
    Mama don’t drink no gin ‘cos it makes sin, sin, sin,
    All she drink is candy brandy all de time.

    Oh me mama don’t drink no whisky ‘cos it makes her too frisky
    Oh, mama don’t drink no whisky ‘cos it makes her frisky
    Oh, mama don’t drink no whisky, ‘cos it makes her too damn frisky,
    All she drink is candy brandy all de time

    Oh, me mama went to bed last night she was feeling cold
    Oh, mama went to bed last night, she was feeling cold
    Oh, mana went to bed last night, she was feeling C-O-L-D
    So I said to her, “Mama, girl you are getting old”

    Me mama don’t want no peas, no rice, no coconut oil
    She don’t want no peas, no rice, no coconut oil
    She don’t want no peas, no rice, no coconut O-I-L,
    All she want is candy brandy all de time.”

  15. Sargeant

    @SD

    Thanks for supplying the words, my memory of that song goes back to the days of Reddifusion. My record collection starts in a different decade with 45s by Sir Don; Wendy Alleyne; The Escorts; The Sanpebbles etc.

    Candy Brandy will be stuck in my head all day.

  16. Pingback: A tribute to assassinated Environmentalists | Barbados Free Press