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Saro-Wiwa Case Payout by Shell

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Tuesday June 09, 2009 01:07author by Cathar Report this post to the editors

In the landmark case in New York Shell have agreed tp payout $15m dollars settlement to realtives of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other Ogoni nine and others killed in Nigeria.
Ken Saro-Wiwa
Ken Saro-Wiwa

Shell to pay out $15.5m over Saro-Wiwa killing

Shell has agreed to pay $15.5m (€12m) in settlement of the legal action taken by the families of the activist/writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other leaders of the Ogoni tribe of southern Nigeria.
It’s a breakthrough case for human rights making a multinational accountable for its actions. They made the payment without admitting liability to avoid deatails of the evidence against them emerging in Court.
The settlement follows intensive negotiation by the New York-based Centre for Constitutional Rights .
It vindicates the stand taken by Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr, over the last decade and more to win justice for his father. Persistence pays.

A sum of $5m will be used to set up a trust called Kiisi - meaning "progress" in the Ogoni Gokana language - to support educational, community and other initiatives in the Niger delta.

Among the documents lodged with the New York court was a 1994 letter from Shell in which it agreed to pay a unit of the Nigerian army for the recovery of a truck. which resulted in the death of one Ogoni man and others injured. The aim was to motivate “future assignments".
Shell's involvement in the oil-rich Niger delta extends back to 1958. It remains the largest oil business in Nigeria, owning some 90 oil fields across the country..

The Ogoni People have been protesting in a non violent way for over two decades against Shell, for the destruction of their way of life and their environment through jungle clearance Gas flares and oil leakage.. Ken Saro Wiwa was one of the leaders of the movement who paid with his life for his part in the campaing. He was hanged with eight other Ogoni on trumped up charges on the 10th November 1995, Like Willie Corduff he was the recipient of the Goldman Enviromental Prize.

“Shell is guilty. Despite this victory, justice will not be served in Ogoni and throughout the Delta until the gas flares are put out, the spills cleaned up, and the military stops protecting the oil companies and starts serving the people,” said Steve Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International. “This issue will not be solved until these legitimate grievances of the community are addressed.”

This is not the end of court action against Shell who have still to face court in Holland for the pollution in Nigeria.

Never Forget the Ogoni Nine:
Ken Saro-Wiwa,Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine. Hanged by a corrupt Nigerian Government to facilitate Shell on the 10th November 1995.

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author by Eamonn O'Coilea'in - REPULIC of IRELANDpublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 04:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My heart goes out to all those that lost love ones to shells regime. All because they wanted to live peacefully and environmental safe for their families. $hell would have kept them in court for decades or even more. Maybe they can use the $$$$ for some good , flying in here 20-30,000 people to stop our own nightmare happening, before its to late. Remember that $hell make over 54 million a day in profit, so the money is nothing to shell. How many more people will be hurt or arrested or killed...
because shell want our gas at any cost ; how much = jail us , hurt us , tie us up in court , and when there's an pipeline rupture an explosion , that will incinerate us 30 seconds ,. Who the fuck is charge of this nightmare an its threat that will bring such devastation. will our children take shell to court when an accident destroys the area with pollution then death. like I said at any cost..fuck shell

author by old codger - pensionerpublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This may be of some good to the relatives, but it is very bad news for the rest of the world especially Rossport .
The facist merceneries will be able to murder with impunity and shell will pay a few million pocket money in compensation.
Our gardai can stand by and let it happen and plead ( they had to do it the IRA were involved.
On the qeustion of an accident happening 3 million is all the state can claim.

author by Peter Sutherland's Nemesispublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shell, the Green Party's friends, the one's the Green Party wants to protect and defend, the one's the Green Party wants to give our gas away to, to let them extract it with an experimental new pipeline ...

Shell, the Green Party's friends, the one's who nearly murdered Willy Corduff with their fascist thugs in the dead of night ...

Shell, the Green Party's friends, have had to pay out for their murdered Nigerian, and by god we made the Green Party pay too!

Feck the shleveen Greens and their friends in Shell.

Shell we know who they are. The Greens? We made the mistake in years gone by of assuming they were environmentalist, anti-war, social-justice and fair. It was a stereotype and we got it wrong. Turns out after two years in government, the Green Party were none of those things.

Aren't the Green Party lucky now that their friends, Shell's fascist thugs, that attacked Willy Corduff, aren't the Greens lucky now they didn't kill him. They mightn't even have got them three local council seats! And not one a them shleveen Greens stood up and demanded they truth about Willy's battering, not one of them came out and condemned Shell's fascist thugs.

Well goodbye our Green shleveen erstwhile friends, may your corpse produce some good quality organic manure for some environmentalist, anti-war, social-justice and fair type political party in the future.

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author by redjadepublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some quick math:
this punishment of Shell Oil equals
1/282th of last years profit
in 2008 Shell Oil made $13,150,684/day

using numbers from:

author by DisillusionedVoterpublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Even when you play the game, they delay and delay to wear you out and bankrupt you in legal costs, then if you persevere and actually beat them, they just do a calculation and fob you off with a pittance and carry on with business as usual. The framework and structure of the legal system favours corporations How can little people ever really win against corporate greed?

RIP Ken. What would you think of this I wonder? How much more than 15 million would it take to clean up the ecological disaster that is the niger delta?

We need new strongly enforced global corporate limits. but catch 22 - we will never be able to implement such policies against global corporate lobbying.

author by rompublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

According to the Washington Post (link below) the payout amounts to "less than one-hundredth of a percent of Shell’s annual revenue. It’s comparable to the annual cost of renting one of the supertankers that Shell uses to deliver Nigerian oil to other countries".

It's easy for us to be on our moral high horses about the Wiwa family's compromise but it seems a terrible mistake. It means we (and indeed Nigerians) can never call Shell 'guilty' and be believed by anyone outside of the protest movement.

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author by Catharpublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 13:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The New York Times considered it a striking sum given that the company has denied any wrongdoing.

The BBC note that Ken Wiwa, 40, son of Ken Saro-Wiwa, said his father would have been happy with the result..He told the Associated Press that Shell's settlement represented a "victory for us".

Remember this settlement comes after a 13 year legal battle and means many details of Shell's activities are now in the Public Domain thanks to depositions lodged with the court.

Its small money to Shell but some comfort to the afflicted and an encouragement for others to take a stand.

author by Tony Byrnepublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 15:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Has any of this gone out on the rag bag of corporate and state media that passes for news carriers here in our little Shell of a banana republic ?

Better not hold one's breath.

author by Catharpublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 16:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In fairness it is now up on the RTE website. Im out of Ireland this week so I cant vouch for whats on the airwaves.

A reasonable article which naturally incudes Shell denying responsibility but does quote Ogoni Spokesperson and mentions the enviromental case being taken

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author by TD - Shell to Seapublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 16:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ken Wiwa and attorney Judith Brown Chomsky on the settlement.

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author by m.m.mccarronpublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 16:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On their own, the Ogoni families could never have taken a case to Court. Today we are told that it cost the Omagh families 2 million pounds sterling to mount their civil case. Brings home how inaccessible the Courts are to people. This is a grave injustice in society where for the most part one has to have 100, 000 euro in hand to even start the smallest action as the people of Erris have discovered too even as a solution trotted out by Minister O'Cuiv who suggests the legal route. The Ogoni families could not start proceedings in the US or Nigeria withour the assistance of big legal NGOs whose advice they have to rely on. For the Ogonis this case has been bound by severe circumstances and it has been a very painful time for them. Thanks to so many people in Ireland who are now sharing that pain of complexity. Ken Saro-Wiwa has a book of short stories called A Forest of Flowers - every story deals with the issue of poverty such as seeking a dowry for a daughter who is only ten so that some bit of the essential family survives.

author by cable - Shell to Sea ~ Cambridgepublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 16:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Spread the word on $Hell's wrongdoing, for the sake of Erris' land & people, Ogoniland, & the rest of the world that these companies see as a site to be plundered.

author by Margaretpublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 22:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Surely in the light of all that has happened in Nigeria and to the Ogoni people our Government must guarantee that the close co-operation between SHELL/IRMS security and AN GARDA SICHANNA should cease forthwith.IRMS SECURITY workers went to BOLIVIA one of them was shot dead.Were they working for SHELL /IRMS AT THAT TIME?
Will the IRISH NAVY be used to protect SHELL?
Will the IRISH ARMY be used too against the IRISH PEOPLE?
Who will protect the ERRIS people in their RIGHTEOUS struggle for JUSTICE and HUMAN RIGHTS?
Will the MINISTER for JUSTICE fail to protect our people?
We must ensure that SHELL will never be allowed to destroy and plunder IRELAND
As they have done all over the world.

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