Home News Ogoni 9 execution: Widows terminate case against Shell

Ogoni 9 execution: Widows terminate case against Shell

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Four out of the nine widows of the activists from the Ogoni region, who opposed the operating practices of the Royal Dutch Shell oil corporation, have ended their case and cancelled further proceedings against Shell at The Hague, Netherlands.

The widows had sought to hold Shell liable for damages after their anti-oil activist husbands were executed by the Nigerian government in 1995.

According to US News, their lawyer, Channa Samkalden described the outcome as “disappointing”.

The victims were arrested and hanged after a trial that turned international opinion against Nigeria’s then-military rulers. Among the activists was writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Samkalden said: “This has been a lengthy and demanding procedure, which makes them re-live horrible events, while the outcome is most uncertain.

“Rather than focusing on the appeal, initiatives are now being developed aimed at providing these women with some basic financial assistance.

“Obviously this is not without disappointment and frustration”, she said.

Although Shell struck a $15.5 million settlement with relatives of some of the families in the United States in 2009, last March the court at The Hague ruled that there was not enough evidence to support the widows’ assertion that Shell had bribed witnesses to give false testimony in the trial that led to the execution of their husbands.

Shell also reportedly made the settlements without acknowledging wrongdoing.

A statement by Shell on Monday read: “We have always denied the allegations made against Shell in this case.

“However, this does not in any way diminish the tragic nature of the events of 1995″.

Decades ago, a group of nine activists from the Ogoni in River State, later known as Ogoni Nine opposed Shell’s operating practices. Apart from Wiwa, an outspoken author and playwright, others were Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine.

They were tried of alleged involvement in the murder of some Ogoni elders by the military regime of General Sani Abacha. Upon conviction, the Ogoni Nine were executed by hanging on 10th November 1995.

The executions provoked international condemnation and led to the increasing treatment of Nigeria as a pariah state until Abacha died in mysterious circumstances in 1998.

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