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No justice for Nigerian ‘Ogoni 9’ widows as Dutch Court throws out case against oil giant, Shell

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Four Nigerian widows whose husbands were hanged in 1995 by the late Military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, have had a case they brought against Dutch oil giant, Shell, for allegedly aiding “corrupt witnesses” testify against their late husbands, thrown out by the district court in The Hague on Thursday.

The husbands of the four widows, Esther Kiobel, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo, and Charity Levula, were executed following their protests against the company’s exploitation of the oil-rich Niger Delta region.

They were part of the famous ‘Ogoni 9’, a group of environmental activists who staged protests against the degradation of the region by oil companies operating there.

On November 10, 1995, the nine Nigerian environmental activists who were accused of murder by the Abacha junta, were executed under bizarre circumstances, following their incessant protestations on the degradation of the Niger Delta by Shell and other oil companies operating in the region.

The executed men who have come included writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine.

The women had jointly sued Shell for its alleged role in the “unlawful arrest, detention, and execution of their husbands,” for opposing the oil giant and the military government.

But in delivering judgement on the case, the Dutch Court ruled that there was “insufficient evidence to back their accusations,” with the judges deciding that their “evidence was not sufficient or verifiable enough to establish the culpability or involvement of Shell, or its Nigerian subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC),” and as such, the energy firm could not be held liable.

The widows had argued that the oil company had compromised witnesses who testified during past hearings, claiming that they had signed prepared statements and had been coached to incriminate the defendants, in return for the promise of payments and jobs.

Before their case was thrown out, another Dutch Court had, in 2019, handed the widows a rare win in their long-running battle by allowing the case to continue, but there was a proviso that they should prove Shell’s liability in the conviction and execution of their husbands.

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Metro

South African police arrests woman over racist rant calling for blacks to be killed instead of pitbulls

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The police in South Africa have arrested a self-proclaimed pitbull advocate, Belinda Magor, after she made racist remarks calling for black people to be killed and banned instead of pitbulls.

Mayor’s comments came following a recent spree of attacks on people by pitbulls in different parts of the country.

On Sunday, November 20, a 3-year-old boy was attacked and killed by two pitbulls in the Sekoti-mpate province which led to a protest by residents of the area.

In another incident on Wednesday November 23, a 15-month-old baby was also mauled by a pitbull at Gonubie Farm in East London, led to more anger as residents went into town and rounded up pit bulls and set them on fire.

In the leaked Whatsapp voicenote, Magor sent to group of pitbull owners and advocates, she was heard saying:

“What I say is ban the blackman. They rape, they steal, they kill, worse than any pitbull could, and they get away with it.

“Ban those that are making the laws, ban Ekurhuleni, ban the blackman. Get all the black women and cut out their uteruses and their ovaries that they cannot procreate because they will all turn out the same because they are all the same.

“I’m very passionate about this. Ban them, kill them, shoot them. Get rid of them because they are the problem. Not pitbulls, not animals.

“Animals are beautiful, and they deserve, er, warm bed, er food, love and attention and everything else. God created those animals. Who created the black man, do you think God? I don’t think so.”

Confirming the arrest of Magor, South African Police Servies (SAPS) spokesperson, Colonel Brenda Muridili, said “a case of crimen injuria was opened on November 25, 2022, at Boksburg North and transferred to Putfontein Police Station for investigation.

“The suspect, aged 60 years old, was arrested and released the same day on a warning to appear in court on March 27, 2023,”

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Botswana woman executed in Bangladesh for drug trafficking

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An African woman from Botswana, Lesedi Molapisi, was on Friday, executed in Bangladesh after she was found guilty and sentenced to death for trafficking over 3kg of heroin into the country.

According to New Age Bangladesh, Molapisi, 30, was reportedly arrested at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in January this year after the airport’s customs officials and intelligence officials intercepted while crossing the green channel after they had received information that she has smuggled drugs into the country.

The Bangladeshi news website reported that customs officials confirmed that they seized over 3kg of the heroin-like granular substance worth Tk 20 crore in eight polybags upon scanning Molapisi’s bag.

The Bangladeshi cabinet had approved a draft law prescribing the death penalty for drug offences in 2018. The law also supported the Narcotics Control Act 2018, which mandates either the death penalty or life imprisonment for anyone convicted of committing a range of drug offences.

Under the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898, “when any person is sentenced to death, the sentence shall direct that he be hanged by the neck till he is dead.”

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