Ogoni leaders’ wives floor Shell in court

Ogoni leaders’ wives floor Shell in court

A Dutch court on Wednesday ruled in favour of four Nigerian women in the suit against Shell. Esther Kiobel, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula sued Shell for its alleged role in the arrest, detention and execution of their husbands by the military in 1995 during the Sani Abacha regime. Mark Dummett, Amnesty International’s

A Dutch court on Wednesday ruled in favour of four Nigerian women in the suit against Shell.

Esther Kiobel, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula sued Shell for its alleged role in the arrest, detention and execution of their husbands by the military in 1995 during the Sani Abacha regime.

Mark Dummett, Amnesty International’s Head of Business and Human Rights, announced the victory in a statement on Wednesday.

It read: “The District Court of The Hague today issued an interim ruling in the case brought by Esther Kiobel and three other women with regard to Shell’s involvement in the unlawful arrest, detention and execution of their husbands by the Nigerian military. It ruled in favour of the plaintiffs, that the court does have jurisdiction of the case and that this should not be time barred.

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The court also ruled that Shell should hand over some confidential internal documents to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, and that they would have the opportunity to examine witnesses.

“This decision marks a vital step towards justice for Esther and the other plaintiffs. It also sets an important precedent for other victims around the world who are seeking to hold powerful corporations to account, and who struggle to access justice.

“We salute Esther Kiobel, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula. It’s only because of their courage and persistence that we’ve got this far.

“The women believe their husbands would still be alive today were it not for Shell’s relentless pursuit of profit, which encouraged the Nigerian government’s bloody crackdown on protesters even when it knew the deadly human cost. Shell might now face questioning in a court of law about what they knew and how they contributed to this horrifying event in Nigerian history.

“Today’s ruling will have great significance for people everywhere who have been harmed by the greed and recklessness of global corporations.”

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