The wives of four Nigerians who were executed in 1995 by the ruling Military regime are suing the ‘Shell’ oil company for alleged complicity in military crackdown.
The lawsuit claims that the company offered support to the army and it did nothing to prevent the executions. Claims that Shell has repeatedly denied.
Of the nine men executed, Ken Saro-Wiwa was the most popularly known. He led protests against the environmental damage caused in the Niger Delta by oil producing activities.
The women, now known as the ‘Ogoni nine’ have the support of Amnesty International and are seeking compensation added to an official apology.
Shell – the largest producer of oil in Nigeria issued a response saying it “did not collude with the authorities to suppress community unrest and in no way encouraged or advocated any act of violence in Nigeria.”
“The executions of Ken Saro-Wiwa and his fellow Ogonis in 1995 were tragic events that were carried out by the military government in power at the time. We were shocked and saddened when we heard the news of the executions.
“The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited appealed to the Nigerian government to grant clemency. To our deep regret, that appeal, and the appeals made by many others within and outside Nigeria, went unheard.”
Shell had constantly come under scrutiny over the hanging of the activists back in 1995, from within Nigeria and also abroad. Almost a decade ago the company agreed an out-of-court settlement with a group of relatives to the deceased men and paid over $15m.