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
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?
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!
Wall Street Journal: Shell Settles Nigeria Case