Nigerian widows end case against Shell in Netherlands

Ogoni Nine

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 in 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, disclosed this on Monday in a statement, describing the outcome as “disappointing.”

The widows’ husbands 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 focussing 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 in 2009 struck a $15.5 million settlement with relatives of some families in the United States, in March 2022, the Hague court 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.”

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