According to attorneys for the plaintiffs: "The complaint alleges that Shell engaged in militarized commerce in a conspiracy with the former Military Government of Nigeria. Our investigation shows that Shell knowingly instigated, planned, facilitated, and participated in unprovoked attacks by the Nigerian military against the unarmed residents of Ogoniland, resulting in extrajudicial murder, crimes against humanity, torture, rape, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary arrest and detention, forced exile and the deliberate destruction of private property."
Shell is charged with purchasing ammunition and using its helicopters and boats and providing logistical support for "Operation Restore Order in Ogoniland" a military foray into Ogoniland designed to terrorize the civilian population into ending peaceful protests against Shell's environmentally unsound oil exploration and extraction activities in Ogoniland.
One of the plaintiffs, President of the National Union of Ogoni Students, Dornubari John-Miller, announced: "Shell has ruined our land and our lives. Shell used Nigerian military forces to burn our villages and slaughter innocent men, women and children in a failed attempt to silence our peaceful protests. It is finally time to bring Shell to trial for planning, financing and supporting the systematic violation of human rights perpetrated against the Ogoni people in Nigeria."
The action is brought by on behalf of the Estate of Dr. Barinem Kiobel, the former Minister of Commerce and Tourism for River State, and fourteen other victims of human rights violations, individually, and on behalf of those similarly situated. More than 1,000 residents of Ogoniland have been killed and many more have been injured or forced to flee Nigeria since the anti-Shell protests began in 1992.
Oil was discovered in Ogoniland and a consortium lead by Shell received the contract to develop and extract petroleum products. Since Shell started operations in Nigeria, Ogoniland has yielded approximately $30 billion in oil revenue.
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