Alleged Non-Remittance: Environmental Activist Wants EFCC, AGF To Probe Shell

An environmental activist and legal practitioner Anderson Achilike has in a suit called on the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami, and the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited.

Achilike in the suit filed on Wednesday at the Federal High Court, Abuja sued Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria limited over alleged non-remittance and under declaration of crude oil exportation and shipment; instigation of acts of pipeline vandalism; oil theft; third party interference in trunk line operations; incessant cases of fire outbreak.

Achilike said he filed the action “as a matter of urgent national importance to save the dwindling economic fortunes of the country from acts capable of undermining the future of Nigeria.”

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Therefore, he is praying for “an order directing and compelling the EFCC as a designated financial intelligence unit in Nigeria, acting with or through the attorney-general of the federation, to carry out an investigation of shell  over cases of non-remittance and under-declaration of crude oil exportation and shipment, third party interference in its trunk line operations, monumental shortfall in crude oil production, poor economic revenue, pipeline vandalism, disruption of oil production, destruction of oil installation and  economic sabotage  in Nigeria.”

He is also seeking “an order directing and compelling the EFCC to carry out a quantitative investigation of the amount or quantity of crude oil coming into or supplied to and exported from the Shell‘s Forcados and bonny oil terminals and Bonga FSPO vessel as well as the amount of crude oil, claimed to have been or supposed to have been, exported from the said terminals from 1st January, 2001 to 31st August 2019.

The plaintiff is also praying for “a declaration that the EFCC being a designated financial intelligence unit in Nigeria, acting with or through the AGF and/or other security agencies, has the bounden statutory duty to investigate various acts and/or allegations of commission of economic crimes by shell against the federal government of Nigeria through its non-remittance and under-declaration of crude oil exportation and shipment, various acts of self-induced oil theft. pipeline vandalism, disruption of oil production, destruction of oil installation, economic sabotage etc.

The matter is yet to be assigned to a date or a judge.

 

Court Orders FG To Renew Shell’s OML 11 For 20 Years

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Minister of Petroleum Resources to grant the renewal of the Oil Mineral Lease (OML) 11 to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria for 20 years.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo gave the order on Friday in a judgment delivered on the suit filed by Shell Petroleum Development Company.

He held that renewal would be for 20 years and not 30, as requested by the company.

‎The suit by Shell was instituted against the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.

Shell Hit With Dutch Climate Change Lawsuit

 

Climate marchers handed in a lawsuit to Shell’s headquarters in the Netherlands on Friday aimed at forcing the oil giant to meet targets in the Paris accord.

Dozens of chanting activists went to the Anglo-Dutch firm’s base in The Hague, where they delivered a legal summons with a court date set for April 17.

Shell greeted the protesters with coffee from an electric drinks van. It said that while it “shares concerns about the climate” it “believes in a solution outside the courtroom.”

“This is a unique case,” Roger Cox, the lawyer for Dutch climate group Milieudefensie, told AFP.

“We are taking Shell to court because it’s not keeping to the aims of the Paris climate agreements. This way we are trying to prevent huge damage.”

The environmental groups say some 17,200 people have registered as co-complainants in the case, which Cox said would be the first of its kind.

Other groups involved in the case include ActionAid Netherlands, Both Ends, Fossielvrij NL, Greenpeace NL and Young Friends of the Earth NL.

The protesters carried banners with slogans such as “We Shell overcome — eventually” and red posters saying “Shell is as green as this poster.”

They also mounted a giant version of the summons with the signatures of the thousands of plaintiffs at Shell’s headquarters near the city centre.

Shell Netherlands CEO Marjan van Loon addressed the protesters outside the building, saying that fighting climate change was a “team sport” , the company said in a Twitter post with a photo.

“I would like to answer every finger, whether it is an index finger or a middle finger, with an outstretched hand,” it quoted her as saying.

 ‘Expose Shell’ 

In a summary of the 250-page document handed over to Shell, the groups said that under Dutch law Shell was unlawfully endangering peoples’ lives by not acting to prevent global warming.

“Internal and external documents show that Shell has known about climate change at least since the 1950s and has been aware of its large-scale and serious consequences at least since 1986,” it said.

“Although Shell knew, it has not taken any serious steps to minimise its share in climate change,” the document added.

Cox said that unlike previous cases which sought financial compensation for the effects of climate change, this one involves asking the judge to order Shell to ensure its activities have zero per cent carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Shell is responsible for 1.7 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions between 1988-2015, according to a peer-reviewed study of the 100 most polluting companies released two years ago.

It is also among five oil and gas majors that have spent more than $1 billion on lobbying against climate legislation since the Paris deal.

Shell’s plans for tackling climate change are “not consistent with the Paris goals”, said Harjeet Singh, who heads global climate activities at ActionAid.

“We need to expose Shell on this and in fact what it has been doing all this while is hiding and distorting facts and lobbying against climate policy,” Singh told AFP.

Climate change is a pressing issue in the Netherlands, where at least a third of the country lies below sea level.

The Dutch government was ordered by a court last year to slash greenhouse gases by at least 25 per cent by 2020, following a legal challenge by another environmental group.

Thousands of Dutch students have rallied in Amsterdam and The Hague in recent weeks, urging the government to take action, with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte meeting the group’s leaders.

AFP

Nigerian Widows Challenge Shell In Dutch Court

Warri, Shell.

 

 

 

Four Nigerian women on Tuesday launched a court case in the Netherlands against oil giant Shell for alleged complicity in the execution of their husbands by the military regime in the 1990s.

The civil case has been brought by Esther Kiobel — the widow of Barinem Kiobel who was hanged in 1995 along with writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and seven others — and is backed by Amnesty International.

“My husband had a good heart. Now I am a poor widow who has lost everything,” Esther Kiobel was quoted as telling the court in The Hague by Dutch news agency ANP.

“The abuses that my family and I went through were a horrible experience that has traumatised us to this day,” added Kiobel, who fled Nigeria in 1998 and now lives in the United States.

Kiobel and one of the other widows were in court for opening arguments. The other two women whose husbands were killed were denied visas to attend.

Kiobel added in a statement issued through Amnesty that “over the years, Shell has continually fought to make sure this case is not heard in court. They have the resources to fight me instead of doing justice for my husband.”

The Dutch court writ alleges that Shell helped in the arrest of the men, who had sought to peacefully disrupt oil development in the Ogoni region because of health and environmental impacts.

Saro-Wiwa, president and founder of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), and eight fellow activists were executed on November 10, 1995 after a military tribunal convicted them of the murder of four traditional Ogoni chiefs.

“These women believe that their husbands would still be alive today were it not for the brazen self-interest of Shell, which encouraged the Nigerian government’s bloody crackdown on protesters even when it knew the human cost,” Amnesty’s Mark Dummett said.

Shell denies all involvement in the men’s executions.

“The executions carried out by a military government at that time have deeply affected us,” a spokesman for the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited said.

Shell said it had urged the Nigerian presidency to grant leniency “and we regret that no response was given.”

The Ogoni movement was set up in 1990 to fight against pollution and the destruction of the ecosystem of the 500,000-strong Ogoni community, which lives on an oil-rich parcel of land on the northern edge of the Niger Delta.

The executions provoked a global outcry and led to the suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth. The west African country was re-admitted with the return of civilian rule in 1999.

NNPC Considers Swap Deal With Shell, ExxonMobil

NNPC To Recover Missing Petrol Worth Over 130m Litres

 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is considering a crude-for-product deal with Shell and ExxonMobil.

NNPC Chief Operating Officer (Upstream), Mr Bello Rabiu, disclosed this Tuesday on the sidelines of an African Oil and Gas conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

Mr Rabiu explained that Shell and ExxonMobil which left Nigeria’s downstream sector a few years back were returning for the arrangement because of the opportunity to get crude and sell their products to the refineries.

The NNPC imports about 70 per cent of the nation’s fuel needs, via swap contracts.

The corporation has contracts known as Direct Sale Direct Purchase Agreements, with 10 consortiums, including trading houses Vitol, Trafigura, Mercuria and Total.

Amnesty Int’l Accuses Shell, Eni Of Negligence Over Niger Delta Oil Spills

 

 

Rights group, Amnesty International, has faulted reports of oil spills in the Niger Delta by Shell and Eni, and is asking the Federal Government re-open investigations into 89 oil spills in the region.

According to the group, the oil giants under-reported the number of spills in the last seven years and also attributed the causes to activities of militants and oil thieves.

But findings by pipeline experts, accufacts, which carried out the investigation on behalf of Amnesty International, also blamed the spills on pipeline corrosion.

Part of the report also accuses the companies of responding late to reports of oil spills.

It added: “We consider Shell and Eni to be deliberately reckless and therefore wilfully negligent in their operations in Nigeria – their failure to operate in line with Nigerian law and best practice standards is having a devastating impact on the human rights of Niger Delta communities.”

Amnesty International is, therefore, calling on the Nigerian government to strengthen its regulation of the oil industry, including the oil spills agency, NOSDRA, with adequate tools to ensure that the oil companies prevent and clean up spills.

The call was made after crowd-sourced analysis of the companies’ publicly available documents on pipeline failures in the Niger Delta region.

Activists who pored over reports found that since Shell began publishing details in January 2011, it had 1,010 spills amounting to 110,535 barrels or 17.5 million litres of crude.

ENI had 820 spills — the equivalent of 26,286 barrels or 4.1 million litres of oil — since it made its reports public in 2014.

The companies blamed “third party interference” — either sabotage of pipelines by militants or the theft of crude known locally as “bunkering” — for most of the spills.

‘Insult To Injury’

But Amnesty’s business and human rights researcher Mark Dummett said the companies’ claims to be doing all they can to prevent spills were at odds with the analysis.

“(Researchers) found that the companies often ignore reports of oil spills for months on end — on one occasion ENI took more than a year to respond,” he said in a statement.

“The Niger Delta is one of the most polluted places on Earth and it beggars belief that the companies responsible are still displaying this level of negligence.

“Adding insult to injury is the fact that Shell and ENI seem to be publishing unreliable information about the cause of extent of spills,” he added, accusing both firms of “recklessness”.

Allegations about misreporting, including under-estimating the amount of oil spilled, are significant as they could affect claims for compensation for local communities.

In January 2015, Shell agreed to pay £55 million ($77 million, 62 million euros) in compensation to more than 15,500 people affected by oil spills in the Ogoniland area of Rivers state.

The case saw the company admit the spills were greater than first reported.

Food, water contamination

Oil companies are required to make an initial assessment of any spill within 24 hours of detection, put in place measures to prevent wider contamination and clean up spills swiftly.

But the analysis indicated Shell responded within 24 hours on only 26 per cent of occasions during the period in question, while ENI did so on 76 per cent of times.

The risk of contamination of food and water sources increases the longer the response time to spills.

Many spills happened in the same area. ENI, for example, had 262 spills on its 92-kilometre (57.5-mile) Tebidaba-Brass pipeline in Bayelsa state.

ENI blamed sabotage for 260 of the spills but the company was warned multiple times to improve surveillance, it was alleged in Amnesty’s report, “Negligence in the Niger Delta”.

Shell rejected the allegations, saying they were “false, without merit and fail to recognise the complex environment in which it operates”.

ENI similarly rejected claims that it was failing to take prompt action or was providing unreliable or misleading information.

It said spills were down by more than 50 per cent last year compared to 2014.

Eni, Shell To Stand Trial In Italy Over Nigerian Bribery Scandal

Italian giant Eni and fellow petroleum company Shell will stand trial in Italy over allegations of bribery and corruption in the 2011 purchase of an offshore oil block in Nigeria.

A judge in Milan ordered Eni, Shell and key figures such as Eni chief Claudio Descalzi and his predecessor Paolo Scaroni to stand trial in proceedings to begin March 5.

The companies are accused of corruption in the 2011 purchase of OPL245, an offshore oil block estimated to hold 9 billion barrels of crude, for $1.3 billion.

“Eni’s Board of Directors has reaffirmed its confidence that the company was not involved in alleged corrupt activities in relation to the transaction,” the Italian firm said in a statement Wednesday.

“Eni expresses its full confidence in the judicial process and that the trial will ascertain and confirm the correctness and integrity of its conduct,” it said.

It insisted in particular that “chief executive Claudio Descalzi was not involved in the alleged illegal conduct”.

Both companies are charged with corruption in Nigeria over the deal, which allegedly saw Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan and his oil minister pocket bribes.

Both have repeatedly maintained that they acquired the rights to the lucrative block in line with Nigerian law.

AFP

Shell Played A Direct Role In Ogoni Bloodshed – Amnesty International

Amnesty International Declares Interest In Death Of Desmond Nunugwo

Amnesty International has accused oil giant, Shell Petroleum of playing a critical role in the 1995 execution of a human rights activist, Mr Ken Saro-Wiwa among several others.

The group is, therefore, calling on the Federal Government to thoroughly probe the company alleging that the perceived activities 22 years ago were crimes against humanity.

In a statement signed by its media manager, Mr Isa Sanusi, the group’s Director of Global Issues, Mr Audrey Gaughran stated that the company collaborated with the military in silencing the people of the region.

He said, “The evidence we have reviewed shows that Shell repeatedly encouraged the Nigerian military to deal with community protests, even when it knew the horrors this would lead to – unlawful killings, rape, torture, the burning of villages.”

“In the midst of this brutal crackdown Shell even provided the military with material support, including transport, and in at least one instance paid a military commander notorious for human rights violations. That it has never answered for this is an outrage.

“It is indisputable that Shell played a key role in the devastating events in Ogoniland in the 1990s, but we now believe that there are grounds for a criminal investigation. Bringing the massive cache of evidence together was the first step in bringing Shell to justice. We will now be preparing a criminal file to submit to the relevant authorities, with a view to prosecution.”

Sanusi stated furthere that the Nigerian government’s campaign against the Ogoni people culminated in the execution, 22 years ago, of nine Ogoni men, including Ken Saro-Wiwa, the writer and activist who led the protests.

The executions followed a purportedly unfair trial and sparked a global outcry. In June 2017 the widows of four of the men filed a court order against Shell in the Netherlands, accusing the company of complicity in their deaths.

It read in part: “An individual or company can be held criminally responsible for a crime if they encourage, enable, exacerbate or facilitate it, even if they were not direct actors.

“For example, knowledge of the risks that corporate conduct could contribute to a crime, or a close connection to the perpetrators, could lead to criminal liability. Amnesty International’s new report “A Criminal Enterprise?” makes the case that Shell was involved in crimes committed in Ogoniland in this way.

“In the 1990s Shell was the single most important company in Nigeria. During the Ogoni crisis, Shell and the Nigerian government operated as business partners and had regular meetings to discuss the protection of their interests.

“Internal memos and minutes from meetings show Shell lobbying senior government officials for military support, even after the security forces had carried out mass killings of protesters.

“ They also show that on several occasions Shell provided logistical or financial assistance to military or police personnel when it was well aware that they had been involved in murderous attacks on defenceless villagers.”

The group further accused the company of continually denying its involvement in human rights violations, adding that there has never been an investigation into the allegations.

It is not the first time Anesty International has accussed Shell of complicity in the Ogoni bloodshed bu the company has maintained its innocence over the years.

Shell Warns Of Safety Risks At Occupied Plant

Photo: Channels Television/Emmanuel Ereyi

Royal Dutch Shell has raised an alarm over the continuing siege at a Nigerian facility by protesters, saying they could be putting their safety at risk.

Hundreds of protesters from the Kula and Belema communities in Nigeria’s restless southern Rivers state have occupied the plant since August 11 to press their demands for jobs and better living conditions.

“The illegal occupation of Belema Flow Station and Gas Plant in Rivers State has safety implications both for the people at the facilities and nearby communities,” the company’s Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company, said in a statement on Sunday.

It said it was “deeply concerned that unauthorised persons, including women and children, have been observed in close proximity to equipment that processes crude oil and gas without the protection of safety clothing.”

Shell said the occupation “exposes people at the plant to higher safety risks as anything could trigger a spill or fire with potentially serious consequences.”

The company said it had not been able to gain access to the plant since the seizure, and called on the protesters to leave.

The protesters also want Shell to shift the operation of the plant to a local company.

“We want Shell to hand over the operations of the flow station to Belema Oil Company because it appreciates our challenges and needs,” community leader Godson Egbelekro told AFP.

The plant transports crude oil to the Bonny Light export terminal, which has a production capacity of 225,000 barrels per day.

In 1993, Shell was forced to quit operation in Ogoniland because of community unrest, but the company still runs a network of pipelines in the area.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer with some two million barrels per day, relies on the sector for 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings and 70 percent of government revenue.

AFP

Shell Declares Force Majeure On Bonny Light

Warri, Shell.Royal Dutch Shell on Friday, declared force majeure on the export of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude oil grade.

The declaration which was confirmed by the Anglo-Dutch company’s local subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company, is effective from Thursday.

The force majeure follows the shutdown by operator Aiteo of the Nembe Creek trunk line, one of two pipelines which exports Bonny Light crude grade.

Exports of Bonny Light were set at 164,000 barrels per day in July and 226,000 barrels per day for August.

Amnesty, Widow Accuse Shell Of Complicity In Execution Of Ogoni Nine

The widow of Dr Barinem Kiobel, one of the nine Ogoni activists executed in 1995 by the General Sani Abacha-led military government, has filed a case against oil giant, Shell for alleged complicity in the execution of the activists.

Amnesty International said in a statement that the latest case in the Netherlands by Mrs Esther Kiobel revealed details of the alleged role Shell played in the executions.

According to the statement, Esther Kiobel has fought for justice for her husband for more than 20 years, alleging his unlawful arrest and detention, the violation of his personal integrity, the violation of his right to a fair trial and his right to life, and her own right to a family life.

“The executions of the Ogoni Nine shocked the world. Shell has been dodging accountability for its complicity in these deaths for more than twenty years but now, thanks to Esther Kiobel’s determination and bravery in taking on this corporate Goliath, the past is finally catching up with it,” Senior Director of Research at Amnesty International Audrey Gaughran, said.

“Today is a watershed moment in Esther Kiobel’s uphill battle for justice. Shell has to answer for the bloody footprints it left all over Ogoniland,” he added.

A Brutal Campaign’

Amnesty International also said the executions were the culmination of a brutal campaign by Nigeria’s military to silence the protests of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), led by Ken Saro-Wiwa.

According to the statement, MOSOP had claimed that others had grown rich on the oil that was pumped from under their soil, while pollution from spills and gas flaring had “led to the complete degradation of the Ogoni environment, turning their homeland into an ecological disaster.” In January 1993, MOSOP declared that Shell was no longer welcome to operate in Ogoniland.

In January 1993, MOSOP declared that Shell was no longer welcome to operate in Ogoniland.

The military authorities responded to the MOSOP protests with force, committing numerous serious human rights violations including killings, torture and rape.

“Shell encouraged the government to stop Ken Saro-Wiwa and MOSOP, knowing this was highly likely to result in human rights violations being committed against them. Shell had plenty of evidence that the Nigerian Military was responding to the Ogoniland protests with abuse,” said Audrey Gaughran.

“Just weeks before the men were arrested, the Chairperson of Shell Nigeria had met with then-President, General Sani Abacha, and raised “the problem of the Ogonis and Ken Saro-Wiwa”. This was not the first time Shell had engaged with military and security forces to frame the Ogoni protests as a “problem”. Shell also repeatedly reminded the authorities of the economic impacts of the MOSOP protests,” Amnesty International added.

Shell was however quoted to have denied all allegation insinuating its involvement in the killings.

“The allegations cited in your letter against Shell are false and without merit. Shell Nigeria did not collude with the military authorities to suppress community unrest and in no way encouraged or advocated any act of violence in Nigeria. We have always denied these allegations in the strongest possible terms.”

EFCC Files Charges Against Shell, Eni, Nine Others

EFCCThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a three-count charge of conspiracy and corruption against two multinational oil firms, Shell and Eni, for their roles in the alleged Malabu $1.1 billion scandal.

Nine others were also charged along with the two multinational companies before an FCT High Court in Abuja on Thursday.

Those charged alongside Shell and Eni are a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, and a former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, as well as a businessman Aliyu Abubakar.

In the first count of the charge, Shell Nigeria, Nigeria AGIP Exploration Ltd., Eni S.p.A, a former Director of SNEPCO, Ralph Wetzels, two Italians who are former directors in AGIP, Casula Roberto and Burrafato Sebastiano, Douzia Louya Etete popularly known as Dan Etete, Mohammed Adoke, Aliyu Abubakar and Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd. allegedly conspired sometime in 2011 to commit an offence of official corruption.

In the charge sheet signed by Jonson Ojogbane for the EFCC, the offence was said to be contrary to Section 26 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act of 2000 and punishable under Section 12 of the same act.

In the second charge, Dan Etete, Mohammed Adoke, Aliyu Abubakar and Malabu Oil & Gas were alleged to have corruptly received the sum of eight hundred and one (801) million dollars in respect of OPL 245 from Shell Nigeria, Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd. and Eni S.p.A.

The new charges were said to be part of an international collaboration to ensure that all those who partook in the alleged $1.1 billion OPL 245 scandal were brought to justice.

The OPL 245 oil block is currently owned by the Nigerian Government after a temporary court order granted on the basis of an EFCC application.

Shell and Eni have since appealed the order asking that the block be returned to them.