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FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

COMPLAINT NO. __________ OF 2014

COMPLAINT RE: FORCED EVICTION OF EAGLE ISLAND U.S.T./AGIP WATERFRONT COMMUNITY, PORT HARCOURT, DECEMBER 2004 APRIL 200 SUBMITTED: MARCH 26, 2014

Organizations Supporting Complaint: Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI-Nigeria) Port Harcourt, Rivers State Tel: +234.803.875.0188 megan@justempower.org Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action) 33 Oromineke Layout, Off Emekuku Street D-Line, Port Harcourt Tel: +234.803.273.3965 celestine@saction.org Collaborative Media Advocacy Project (CMAP) Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria Tel: +234.813.603.0055 info@cmapping.net Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) 9 Justice Mary Odili Street Port Harcourt, Rivers State

March 26, 2014 March 21, 2014 Prof. Bem Angwe Prof. Bem Angwe Executive Secretary Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission National Human Rights Commission 9 Aguiyi Ironsi Street 9 Aguiyi Street Maitama Ironsi Abuja, Federal Capital Territory Maitama Abuja, Federal Capital Territory COMPLAINT RE: FORCED EVICTION OF EAGLE ISLAND U.S.T./AGIP WATERFRONT Re: COMPLAINT TO THE NATIONAL RIGHTS COMMUNITY, PORT HARCOURT, DECEMBERHUMAN 2004 APRIL 2005 COMMISSION OF NIGERIA CONCERNING FORCED EVICTION OF EAGLE ISLAND U.S.T./AGIP WATERFRONT COMMUNITY, Dear Prof. Angwe: PORT HARCOURT, DECEMBER 2004 APRIL 2005

Dear Prof. Angwe: the December 2004 April 2005 demolitions and forced evictions of the Eagle We write regarding Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront community, comprising Ogoni Village, Alhaji Village and Ibioma We write regarding the December 2004 Harcourt, April 2005 demolitions Village, (together, Agip Waterfront) in Port Rivers State. and forced evictions of the Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront community, comprising Ogoni Village, Alhaji Village and Ibioma Village, (together, Agip Waterfront) in Port Harcourt, Rivers Justice and Empowerment Initiatives (JEI), in collaboration with State. the Social Development Integrated

Centre (Social Action), the Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform (CMAP), the Movement for the Justiceof and Initiatives and (JEI), working collaboration the Social Development Survival the Empowerment Ogoni People (MOSOP), the Ogoni in Solidarity Forum with (OSF), hereby submit the Integrated Centre (Social Action), the Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform (CMAP), the Movement present complaint to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on behalf of the former for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), and Ogoni Solidarity Forum (OSF), has residents of Agip Waterfront. We urge the NHRC to act the swiftly to investigate and adjudicate thebeen mandated to file the present with the National Human and Rights Commission (NHRC) on behalf violation of thousands of Agip complaint Waterfront residents fundamental human rights, including the of Agip Waterfront evicteesdignity, to seek an investigation into and adjudication of private the violation right to fair hearing, housing, food, work, adequate standard of living, and and of thousands of attached Agip Waterfront residents fundamental and human rights, including the right to fair family life. See letter of mandate from representatives of the complainant community. hearing, housing, dignity, food, work, adequate standard of living, and private and family life. Please find attached the complaint using Form 1 of the NHRCs Standing Orders and Rules of Please find below a petition and detailed memorandum. The petition an introduction, a Procedure, together with supporting affidavits and other evidence, and a comprises detailed memorandum. statement ofyour the facts, supporting documents, submissions Thank you for urgent attention to this important matter. on each of the claimed rights violations, and reliefs sought by the Agip evictees. Thank you for your urgent attention to this important matter. Sincerely, Sincerely,

Anna Maitland Michael Uwemedimo Anna Maitland Michael Uwemedimo JEI-Nigeria CMAP JEI-Nigeria CMAP anna@justempower.org info@cmapping.net anna@justempower.org info@cmapping.net

Celestine Akpobari Celestine Akpobari Social Action, OSF Social Action, OSF celestine@saction.org celestine@saction.org

Legborsi Pyagbara Legborsi Pyagbara MOSOP MOSOP

CC: Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront Evictees, c/o Edwin Lenyie, Nekabari Nwiwaadu, CC: Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront Evictees, c/o Edwin Lenyie, Nekabari Nwiwaadu, Chief Chief Gideon Gboro Teebienwa, Saturday Deekor, Thomas Kirika, Ezii Barineka Gideon Gboro Teebienwa, Saturday Deekor, Thomas Kirika, Ezii Barineka
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Complaint Re: Forced Eviction of Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront !

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FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION COMPLAINT NO. __________ OF 2014
Edwin Lenyie Nekabari Nwiwaadu Chief Gideon Gboro Teebienwa Saturday Deekor Chief Thomas Kirika Chief Ezii Barineka

Complainants

On behalf of themselves and other former residents (evictees) of Alhaji Village, Ogoni Village and Ibiama Village, together comprising the area known as Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront Community in Port Harcourt Local Government Area of Rivers State Rivers State Government...Respondent

MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF COMPLAINT RE: THE FORCED EVICTION OF EAGLE ISLAND U.S.T./AGIP WATERFRONT COMMUNITY, PORT HARCOURT, DECEMBER 2004 APRIL 2005 1.0. INTRODUCTION

Between December 2004 and April 2005, the Rivers State Government demolished and forcibly evicted thousands of residents from the Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront (Agip Waterfront) community in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The Agip Waterfront evictees hereby file a petition to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to seek an investigation into and adjudication of the violation of thousands of Agip Waterfront residents fundamental and human rights, including the right to adequate housing/shelter, right to fair hearing, right to dignity, right to food, right to work, right to adequate standard of living, and right to private and family life. 2.0. BACKGROUND ON EAGLE ISLAND U.S.T./AGIP WATERFRONT COMMUNITY

Before the forced evictions that occurred in 2004 and 2005, Agip Waterfront comprised three villages Alhaji, Ogoni, and Ibioma respectively1 and was home to at least 30,000 people living and working in over 842 structures. The three villages were situated along both sides of the road running from Agip Gate to Eagle Island Town,
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"!These

villages were also sometimes known as Orowoukwo or Ogodogbo Waterfront.!!


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Complaint Re: Forced Eviction of Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront !

with the majority of the settlement on the creek-side of the road and outside Agips company walls and opposite the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (U.S.T.). Predominately built on land reclaimed from river and swamp in the 1970s and 1980s by fishermen and fishmongers, people were drawn to the area in part because of the proximity to water and fishing essential to the traditions, culture, and jobs of the residents of Agip Waterfront and, for students and employees, its proximity to U.S.T. The early settlers of the Agip Waterfront include Alhaji Deebii Taekor (late), Chief Lenyie Taekor (late), Mr. Boy Fanor (late), Elder Moses Ekpelu, Mr. Eloleyah (late), Mr. Dick Omo, Chief A.S. Ngerebor, Chief T.O. Jaja (late), Chief Lele, Chief Gideon Gboro Teebienwa, Chief Fabian Nwinyor, and Mrs. Victoria Meneogu. Prior to their occupation of the area, some of these settlers used labor-intensive manual methods and significant expense to reclaim the wetlands and develop them to a level adequate for human habitation. Many of the settlers of Agip Waterfront were re-located on the land by the Rivers State Ministry of Lands and Survey in the 1980s, after they were displaced from places like U.S.T. and Ndoki Waterside, and advised to reclaim and develop the area. In addition, most of the people who reclaimed land and/or who built structures paid rent, based on the number of rooms per structure, to traditional landlords in the OroObaliolu community. Confident in their rights to the area based on both the assertions of government officials and the traditional landowners, the Agip Waterfront residents built permanent structures out of block and zinc, and invested in infrastructure such as churches, schools, and boreholes. See Affidavit of Chief Anthony Ngerebor. The people of Agip Waterfront sought to enhance the social orderliness of their communities by putting in place leadership structures in each community comprising: the Chief and Elder Executive Council, the Community Development Committee (CDC), and youth and womens organizations. These leadership structures existed for all three villages, and allowed each community to coexist peacefully and productively for decades. Additionally, Agip Waterfront was located in Ward 18, Obazolu. Politically, the people of Agip had a voting strength of about 20% of the ward and members of Agip Waterfront participated as elected officials in the local government authority. See Exhibit A, Form of Nomination of Candidates for Ward Delegates Election. Further, in 2000-2001 the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) worked with the Rivers State Government to support an Urban Basic Services Programme that targeted five communities, including the Eagle Island Waterfronts. The Rivers State Government, with the assistance of UNICEF, formed this program to improve the lives of the urban poor through a focus on ensuring access to basic services such as health, education and sanitation. The Agip Waterfront community members worked proactively with this
Complaint Re: Forced Eviction of Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront ! 2 of 18

FORM 1 FIRST SCHEDULE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

Rule...

NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF NIGERIA

COMPLAINT NO ________ OF 2014

COMPLAINANT DATA COLLECTION FORM 1. Complainants Identity Edwin Lenyie Nekabari Nwiwaadu Chief Gideon Gboro Teebienwa Saturday Deekor Chief Thomas Kirika Chief Ezii Barineka Alhaji Village Ogoni Village Ibiama Village

On behalf of themselves and other former residents (evictees) of Alhaji Village, Ogoni Village, and Ibiama Village, together comprising the area known as Eagle Island-U.S.T./Agip Waterfront Victim (yes/no) Next--of--kin (yes/no) Other: Representatives of other former residents (evictees) of the area known as Eagle Island-U.S.T./Agip Waterfront Reasons why the victims(s) is/are unable to submit complaint in person: N/A Name(s) of Victims: See above Is victim: (a) A minor or child (yes/no) (b) Permanently incapacitated (yes/no) (c) Mentally disabled (yes/no), if yes, please provide proof (d) Represented by counsel or other person (yes/no) (e) Desirous of confidentiality (yes/no), if yes, details please

Address/contact details of victim c/o Edwin Lenyie, 1 Empress Close, Ada George, Port Harcourt, Rivers State 08067771185, 08074249081 If Next--of--Kin, please state nature of relationship............ Age Bracket of victim: 0-10 11-20 21-30 31-45 45-55 Above 55....... Gender: Male/Female Profession/Occupation: Businessman Marital Status: Single, Married, Divorced, Widowed, Separated Nationality: Nigerian State of Domicile in Nigeria: Rivers State Local Government of Domicile: Port Harcourt LGA Physical or Street Address: 1 Empress Close, Ada George, Port Harcourt Telephone Number: 08067771185, 08074249081 Name of Next-of-Kin: N/A Address of Next-of-kin: N/A Telephone Number of Next-of-kin: N/A Nature of relationship with Next-of-kin: N/A Referring person or Organisation: Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) If an Organisation, indicate name and numbers of contact person: Anna Maitland, JEI Co-Director, anna@justempower.org Name of Respondent: Rivers State Government Contact Address of Respondent: c/o Attorney General & Commissioner of Justice, Rivers State Rivers State Secretariat Port Harcourt, Rivers State Telephone Numbers of Respondent: N/A

2. Incident or Allegations of Violations Date/Time/Month/Year: December 2004-April 2005 Place/Location: Eagle Island-U.S.T./Agip Waterfront, Port Harcourt, Rivers Kind of violation alleged (e.g. unlawful killing, massacre, rape or other sexual assault, persecution, domestic violence, torture, cruel, other inhuman or degrading treatment, abduction, disappearance, unfair dismissal, forced eviction, etc.): forced eviction and related human rights violations (Attach signed statement of witness if possible) Please see attached Affidavits of Witnesses Edwin Lenyie and Anthony Ngerebor and Expert Affidavit of Daniel Obriango 3. Particulars of Violation Indicate reason or likely reasons behind the violation (e.g. domestic, labour, political, inter-ethnic or inter-communal, abuse by law enforcement or security agencies, ordinary crime, militia violence, land grab, religious or sectarian causes etc.) Land grab or beautification in service of corporate/private interests Please see full statement in attached memorandum in support of complaint 4. Particulars of Persons or Institutions Complained Against Name Individual(s) Community Institution Any distinguishing features (e.g. uniforms, tribal marks, height, complexion, vehicle numbers, etc.) N/A If officials of Government indicate agency and whether state or federal: Rivers State Government Ministry of Lands & Housing (as it was then), through a contractor (Homans Engineering Company), with the Nigerian Police Force, in particular the Mobile Police (a.k.a. MOPOL) and other security forces Physical Address: c/o Attorney General & Commissioner of Justice, Rivers State Rivers State Secretariat Port Harcourt, Rivers State Telephone Numbers: N/A

5. Supporting Evidence Indicate and attach any evidence such as witness statements, affidavits, documents, photographs, medical, survey, geophysical or other expert reports, etc. (use separate sheets if necessary) See the following evidences attached: Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie Affidavit of Anthony Ngerebor Exhibit A: candidate nomination form evidencing Eagle Island Waterfronts participation in the electoral system in 1996 in Ward 18 Exhibits B1-B3: three letters inviting the Eagle Island Waterfront CDC, represented by one Chief Jaja, to participate activities relating to a UNICEFsupport Government program targeting the community Exhibit C: some photographs of structures in the community at the time of the demolition, evidencing the quality of construction Exhibit D: a copy of the 7-day removal notice pasted on 23 July 2004 Exhibits E1-E2: two statements from MOSOP about the demolition posted on the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) website on March 13 and April 14, 2005 Exhibits F1-F3: a press statement form IHRHL, a news article about the arrest of Eric Campbell during the demolition, and a DVD of video footage Exhibit G1-G3: the communitys submission to the TRC submitted on 23 May 2008, a subsequent letter to the Rivers State Governor dated 20 November 2008, and a request for an audience with the Rivers State Commissioner of Urban and Rural Development dated 25 November 2008 Exhibit H1-H2: a letter dated 23 August 2010 from Barr. Ledum Mittee and the letter dated 25 March 2013 from Freedom Fighters International Expert Affidavit of Daniel Obriango (geospatial analyst) Exhibits I1-I4: satellite images of the affected area dated December 2003, January 2005, and February 2008, together with a damage assessment conducted by Daniel Obriango, evidencing the demolition of at least 843 structures in the affected area between December 2003 and February 2008

6. Witness Details Indicate if there were any witnesses to (any aspects of) the violations. If yes, please indicate: Yes. There are countless witnesses, however the affected communities have nominated the following persons to give testimony (if called upon): First Witness . (a) Name: Edwin Lenyie

. (b) Age: 29 . (c) Occupation: Businessman . (d) Contact address: 1 Empress Close, Ada George, Port Harcourt . (e) Telephone Number: 08067771185, 08074249081 . (f) Would the witness be willing to testify (yes/no) . (g) Does the witness require protection (yes/no). If yes, why? N/A Second Witness . (a) Name: Anthony Ngerebor . (b) Age: 60 . (c) Occupation: Retired civil servant . (d) Contact address: Opuoko, Khana LGA, Rivers State . (e) Telephone Number: . (f) Would the witness be willing to testify (yes/no) . (g) Does the witness require protection (yes/no). If yes, why? 7. Remedies Sought Indicate the kind of remedies, if any, that you seek from the Commission: a. A DECLARATION that the December 2004 April 2005 demolitions of Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront community constitutes a forced eviction and, thereby, violates the right to adequate housing guaranteed under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the right to housing/shelter implicit in the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. b. A DECLARATION that the December 2004 April 2005 demolitions of Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront constitutes a violation of the right to fair hearing guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. c. A DECLARATION that the December 2004 April 2005 demolitions of Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront resulted in violations of the right to family

and private life, the right to livelihood implicit in the right to life, and the right to education guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, among other instruments to which Nigeria is party. d. An ORDER of MANDATORY INJUNCTION ordering the Rivers State Government to pay adequate compensation for all structures, moveable properties wrongfully lost, damaged or destroyed and for all rights violations suffered by each evictee in the course and in the aftermath of the forced eviction and other losses that resulted from the forceful eviction as set out in a schedule to be submitted, to be paid into a Compensation Fund and distributed according the guidelines set out in the schedule. e. An ORDER OF MANDATORY INJUNCTION ordering the Rivers State Government to provide, at no cost to evictees, social and other support services to address the trauma and other psychological and emotional harm suffered by evictees. f. An ORDER of MANDATORY INJUNCTION ordering the Rivers State Government to refrain from carrying out and take immediate steps to prevent forced evictions in the state, including domesticating the prohibition on forced evictions into Rivers State law. 8. Previous Steps Taken (Briefly indicate any previous steps that you have taken since the violation alleged. E.g. reported the matter to police, public administration, church, labour, tribunal, lawyer, NGO, filed a suit in court etc. Attach proof if possible) Since 2005, the people from Agip Waterfront have continuously sought redress from the government for their losses to no avail. This has included: - Initial phone calls and attempts to meet with Rivers State Government officials by the Council of Chiefs and Elders, supported by MOSOP, including at least one meeting between Barrister Mittee and the then Rivers State Governor Peter Odili, who assured him compensation would be paid (see Exhibit E1). - May 23, 2008: Letter from K. Morris & Associates to Justice Kayode Eso (Rtd), the Secretary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Destruction and Complete Displacement of the Entire Alhaji Village, Behind U.S.T. Campus, Nkpolu Community, Diobu, Port Harcourt, Passionate Appeal for Compensation and Rehabilitation (see Exhibit G1);

November 20, 2008: Letter from members of Agip Waterfront to Rt. Hon. Governor Amaechi through the Hon. Commissioner of Urban Development titled Destruction and Complete Displacement of the Entires Alhaji/Eagle Island waterfront, behind UST campus Nkpolu community, Diobu, Port Harcourt (see Exhibit G2); November 25, 2008: Request from Agip Waterfront community members to the Hon. Commissioner of Urban & Rural Development for an audience (see Exhibit G3); August 23, 2010: Letter from Mitee & Co to Rt. Hon. Governor Amaechi regarding compensation to residents of Agip Waterfront, Port Harcourt (see Exhibit H1); March 25, 2013: Letter of protest from Freedom Fighters International to Rt. Hon. Governor Amaechi over the Forceful Acquisition and Use of Agip/Eagle Island Waterside in Port Harcourt by Rivers State Government (see Exhibit H2).

The Rivers State Government has failed to respond to any of these letters or provide the compensation it promised during the course of the demolitions or any other form of relief or resettlement to evictees. See Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie. 9. Declaration (a) I hereby certify that the information given by me is true to the best of my knowledge and the same has been given voluntarily and I further authorise the Commission to use the same in reports for the purposes of promotion or protection of human rights: Signature of Complainant or Representative....................... Date........................... (b) I would prefer my case to be identified anonymously (without the victims name or other identity markers) YES/NO Signature/Thumbprint of Complainant or Representative........................................ (b) I hereby certify that the contents of this complaint have been read over and explained to me in my own language and, not being literate in English language, that I understand the contents as reflecting my complaint and hereby confirm that by the mark appended below: Thumbprint of Complainant or Representative..................... Date..................................... Signature of Attending Officer......................................... Date...........................................

10. Details of Attending Officer Name: Position: Signature: Location: Date: FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES 11. Assessment (by officer of the Commission) (Briefly state the assessment of the Secretariat):

12. Preliminary Recommendation: Admissible Inadmissible

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION COMPLAINT NO. __________ OF 2014
Edwin Lenyie Nekabari Nwiwaadu Chief Gideon Gboro Teebienwa Saturday Deekor Chief Thomas Kirika Chief Ezii Barineka

Complainants

On behalf of themselves and other former residents (evictees) of Alhaji Village, Ogoni Village and Ibiama Village, together comprising the area known as Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront Community in Port Harcourt Local Government Area of Rivers State Rivers State Government...Respondent

MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF COMPLAINT RE: THE FORCED EVICTION OF EAGLE ISLAND U.S.T./AGIP WATERFRONT COMMUNITY, PORT HARCOURT, DECEMBER 2004 APRIL 2005 1.0. INTRODUCTION

Between December 2004 and April 2005, the Rivers State Government demolished and forcibly evicted thousands of residents from the Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront (Agip Waterfront) community in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The Agip Waterfront evictees hereby file a petition to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to seek an investigation into and adjudication of the violation of thousands of Agip Waterfront residents fundamental and human rights, including the right to adequate housing/shelter, right to fair hearing, right to dignity, right to food, right to work, right to adequate standard of living, and right to private and family life. 2.0. BACKGROUND ON EAGLE ISLAND U.S.T./AGIP WATERFRONT COMMUNITY

Before the forced evictions that occurred in 2004 and 2005, Agip Waterfront comprised three villages Alhaji, Ogoni, and Ibioma respectively1 and was home to at least 30,000 people living and working in over 842 structures. The three villages were situated along both sides of the road running from Agip Gate to Eagle Island Town,
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"!These

villages were also sometimes known as Orowoukwo or Ogodogbo Waterfront.!!


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Complaint Re: Forced Eviction of Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront !

with the majority of the settlement on the creek-side of the road and outside Agips company walls and opposite the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (U.S.T.). Predominately built on land reclaimed from river and swamp in the 1970s and 1980s by fishermen and fishmongers, people were drawn to the area in part because of the proximity to water and fishing essential to the traditions, culture, and jobs of the residents of Agip Waterfront and, for students and employees, its proximity to U.S.T. The early settlers of the Agip Waterfront include Alhaji Deebii Taekor (late), Chief Lenyie Taekor (late), Mr. Boy Fanor (late), Elder Moses Ekpelu, Mr. Eloleyah (late), Mr. Dick Omo, Chief A.S. Ngerebor, Chief T.O. Jaja (late), Chief Lele, Chief Gideon Gboro Teebienwa, Chief Fabian Nwinyor, and Mrs. Victoria Meneogu. Prior to their occupation of the area, some of these settlers used labor-intensive manual methods and significant expense to reclaim the wetlands and develop them to a level adequate for human habitation. Many of the settlers of Agip Waterfront were re-located on the land by the Rivers State Ministry of Lands and Survey in the 1980s, after they were displaced from places like U.S.T. and Ndoki Waterside, and advised to reclaim and develop the area. In addition, most of the people who reclaimed land and/or who built structures paid rent, based on the number of rooms per structure, to traditional landlords in the OroObaliolu community. Confident in their rights to the area based on both the assertions of government officials and the traditional landowners, the Agip Waterfront residents built permanent structures out of block and zinc, and invested in infrastructure such as churches, schools, and boreholes. See Affidavit of Chief Anthony Ngerebor. The people of Agip Waterfront sought to enhance the social orderliness of their communities by putting in place leadership structures in each community comprising: the Chief and Elder Executive Council, the Community Development Committee (CDC), and youth and womens organizations. These leadership structures existed for all three villages, and allowed each community to coexist peacefully and productively for decades. Additionally, Agip Waterfront was located in Ward 18, Obazolu. Politically, the people of Agip had a voting strength of about 20% of the ward and members of Agip Waterfront participated as elected officials in the local government authority. See Exhibit A, Form of Nomination of Candidates for Ward Delegates Election. Further, in 2000-2001 the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) worked with the Rivers State Government to support an Urban Basic Services Programme that targeted five communities, including the Eagle Island Waterfronts. The Rivers State Government, with the assistance of UNICEF, formed this program to improve the lives of the urban poor through a focus on ensuring access to basic services such as health, education and sanitation. The Agip Waterfront community members worked proactively with this
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program to improve their condition and further develop services in the waterfront. See Exhibit B1, Letter from Port Harcourt City Local Government inviting the Chairman and Secretary of the Eagle Island Waterfront Community to a Training on Early Child Care/Vocational Training for Communities Under the UBS/CNSPM Programme dated March 7, 2000. See also Exhibit B2, Letter from the Government of Rivers State of Nigeria inviting Chief Jaja, the Chairman of Eagle Island to an Inter-Ministerial Committee meeting RE: UNICEF-Assisted Urban Basic Services and Children In Need of Special Protection Measures dated May 22, 2000, and Exhibit B3, a Letter from the Government of Rivers State of Nigeria to the Eagle Island Community regarding the Official Presentation of UNICEF Materials to Communities dated May 30, 2000. 2.1. History of Land Occupation

Development of Agip Waterfront was continuous but slow, and was sped along by a few waves of relocation by the Rivers State Ministry of Lands throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. This included a large-scale eviction to build the U.S.T. wall and later, in 1986-87, to construct a road running along the U.S.T. wall from the Agip Gate to Eagle Island. Under then Commissioner for the Ministry of Lands, Dr. Kimse Okoko, Ministry officials enumerated and compensated the landlords located along the U.S.T. wall, and seeing the residents plight, told them to go resettle at the land that later became Ogoni village. Many Agip Waterfront community members also received permission to reclaim and build on the land from families who claimed to be traditional landlords through traditional agreements and later through agreements to pay rent based on the number of rooms. See Affidavit of Anthony Ngerebor. 3.0. STATEMENT OF FACTS: DEMOLITION AND FORCED EVICTION

Following on all these assurances, the Agip Waterfront community was understandably thrown into panic and confusion when the Rivers State Government began demolishing in December 2004, and completely destroyed the three Agip Waterfront villages by April 2005. The destruction extended from Agip Gate to Eagle Island Town, razing down at least 842 structures, including at least 15 churches and schools, as well as over 18 boreholes, a Central Market and two smaller markets. See Exhibit I1-I4, showing satellite images of the area pre-demolition, again in January 2005 after the first demolition, and after the entire area had been razed, along with an image showing the combined count of demolished structures. See also Expert Affidavit of Daniel Obriango and Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie.

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3.1.

July 2004 Visits to Community

On July 23, 2004, a group of mobile police (MOPOL) came to the Agip Waterfront area and pasted a few generic fliers that stated Remove within seven (7) days at random on some of the roadside stalls along the road near Ogoni Village. The notices did not name particular properties or persons, what needed to be removed, the reasons for random stalls to be removed, nor did they provide information about who to contact for information or to contest the notice. A few days later, officials from the Rivers State Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, accompanied by police officials and MOPOL returned to the community. The late Chief T.O. Jaja and delegates from the Council of Chiefs and Elders met the officials during this process and were told that the Rivers State Government was interested in expanding Agip Wall Fence Road by 7.5 meters. They showed the chiefs where the 7.5 meters would stop and stated that they planned to return for a meeting with the community to discuss compensation before demolishing the roadside structures. However, the officials never returned to hold these conversations with any of the community and the road has, to date, never been expanded. See Exhibit D, Removal Notice; Exhibit E1, Ogoni: The Demolition of the Agip Waterside, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, 13 March 2005; Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie; and Expert Affidavit of Daniel Obriango. 3.2. December 2004 Demolition

In December 2004, without notice, officials from the Rivers State Ministry of Housing and Lands, accompanied by MOPOL and police, came to Ogoni Village with bulldozers and a caterpillar. They arrived in the morning after people had left for work and school and began to demolish homes where people still resided. The demolition exceeded the 7.5-meter setback for the road and started entering into Ogoni Village up to the U.S.T. fence on one side of the road and down toward the water on the other side of the road. The squad refused to stop the demolition, and directed the chiefs to go meet with then Commissioner for Housing and Lands, Tele Ikuru, to discuss compensation. See Expert Affidavit of Daniel Obriango and Exhibits I1-I4. Following the demolitions, the Council of Chiefs approached the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) and asked then President, Barrister Ledum A. Mittee, to assist the community to follow-up with the government. Barr. Mittee and Chief Jaja sought meetings with the Commissioner of Housing and Lands to discuss the demolitions, and when they were finally able to get an audience with the Commissioner for Housing and Lands, they were told that the Rivers State Government intended to return and discuss compensation for the demolished structures and that the sole intent had been to demolish for road expansion. See Affidavit of Anthony Ngerebor.
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3.3.

February-April 2005 Demolitions

At the end of February 2005, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development returned with caterpillars, bulldozers and armed officials and began to further demolish the Agip Waterfront. Again, no notice was given, and, the majority of the community members were working or at school. When youths and elders of the community approached the officials to protest against the encroachment into the village, the police released tear gas in an attempt to disperse them. People were chased and beaten. When it appeared that the demolition squad was unsure how to proceed, a man arrived in a vehicle accompanied by a number of armed vehicles, and directed the demolition squad to destroy all of Alhaji Village down to the waterfront. While this was occurring, more members of the demolition squad arrived from the waterfront, entering the community in swamp buggies to demolish. See Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie. The demolition lasted for over one week, by which time about 70% of the entire Agip Waterfront was destroyed during this period. The remainder of the Agip Waterfront was destroyed by April. During this month of demolitions, Australian journalist Eric Campbell came to report on and film the demolitions of Agip. While filming, he was arrested together with another journalist, but was later released. After the eviction, he compiled the footage of the demolition for the community. See Exhibit F3, film footage of the demolition of the Agip Waterfront; Exhibit F2, Journalists Freed In Nigeria, April 14, 2005; Exhibit E1, Ogoni: The Demolition of the Agip Waterside, UNPO, 13 March 2005; and Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie. The demolition of Agip Waterfront displaced over 30,000 residents of Ogoni Village, Alhaji Village and Ibioma Village. There was no consultation, notice, or information to prepare the communities for the total demolition of their homes, businesses and community facilities. There was no emergency shelter, resettlement or compensation offered by the Rivers State Government to the tens of thousands of people whose homes, properties, and livelihoods were destroyed. See Expert Affidavit of Daniel Obriango and Exhibits I1-I4; and Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie. 4.0. ACTIONS TAKEN TO SEEK REDRESS FROM THE GOVERNMENT

Since 2005, the people from Agip Waterfront have continuously sought redress from the government for their losses to no avail. This has included: - Initial phone calls and attempts to meet with Rivers State Government officials by the Council of Chiefs and Elders, supported by MOSOP, including at least one

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meeting between Barrister Mittee and the then Rivers State Governor Peter Odili, who assured him compensation would be paid (see Exhibit E1). May 23, 2008: Letter from K. Morris & Associates to Justice Kayode Eso (Rtd), the Secretary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Destruction and Complete Displacement of the Entire Alhaji Village, Behind U.S.T. Campus, Nkpolu Community, Diobu, Port Harcourt, Passionate Appeal for Compensation and Rehabilitation (see Exhibit G1); November 20, 2008: Letter from members of Agip Waterfront to Rt. Hon. Governor Amaechi through the Hon. Commissioner of Urban Development titled Destruction and Complete Displacement of the Entires Alhaji/Eagle Island waterfront, behind UST campus Nkpolu community, Diobu, Port Harcourt (see Exhibit G2); November 25, 2008: Request from Agip Waterfront community members to the Hon. Commissioner of Urban & Rural Development for an audience (see Exhibit G3); August 23, 2010: Letter from Mitee & Co to Rt. Hon. Governor Amaechi regarding compensation to residents of Agip Waterfront, Port Harcourt (see Exhibit H1); March 25, 2013: Letter of protest from Freedom Fighters International to Rt. Hon. Governor Amaechi over the Forceful Acquisition and Use of Agip/Eagle Island Waterside in Port Harcourt by Rivers State Government (see Exhibit H2).

The Rivers State Government has failed to respond to any of these letters or provide the compensation it promised during the course of the demolitions or any other form of relief or resettlement to evictees. See Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie. 5.0. LACK OF PROCEDURAL PROTECTIONS PRIOR TO/DURING THE DEMOLITIONS 5.1. Absence of Adequate Notice

The people of Agip Waterfront were not provided with adequate notice prior to any of the demolition exercises; they were therefore unable to take steps to challenge the governments decision (i.e. launching court action) or to mitigate the harms done to person and property during the forceful evictions. As a consequence, many community members were working or at school when each phase of demolition began, and were unable to save the majority of their property, including housing goods, generators, furniture, and business supplies. In the chaos and subsequent homelessness, what properties were not destroyed by bulldozers were stolen, lost, or seriously damaged in the course of the demolition. See Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie.

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5.2.

Total Absence of Safety Precautions During the Exercise

This series of forced evictions at Agip Waterfront took place without regard for the fact that people remained living in the homes being demolished and without any regard for the safety of the residents, including children, elderly, and ill, who had to scramble in the midst of chaos to save their properties. During the eviction, at least one man (Mr. Badom Zua) was crushed to death under a wall toppled by a bulldozer. The community was thrown into chaos, and several people were injured as they attempted to flee the bulldozers with their possessions. See Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie. 5.3. Excessive Force by Police

In response to community members protesting the eviction, the police teargased Alhaji village, creating further chaos and hazard at a time when people were already running about attempting to salvage their goods. This teargas further indiscriminately affected individuals in the village, including the very young, the elderly and the ill. The police and military caused chaos and panic and further endangered those attempting to save their property. See Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie. 5.4. Absence of Emergency Shelter, Resettlement, or Alternative Housing

The Rivers State Government made no provision for emergency shelter or any other form of relief to the evictees of the Agip Waterfront community, forcing families to sleep outside with no protection from the elements, exposing them to malaria, typhoid, pneumonia, and other forms of illness. The extreme shock of the eviction was especially harmful to individuals who were already ill or those affected by high blood pressure and hypertension. As a result, many people suffered strokes and heart attacks. Many persons fell sick after the demolitions due to excessive exposure to cold, mosquito bites, and gruesome environmental health hazards. Many people died in the aftermath of the demolition from these terrible conditions. See Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie. The Rivers State Government further made no provision for resettlement or alternative housing for those forcefully evicted, thereby pushing the people of Agip Waterfront further into poverty. Without alternative housing, those who were not left outside were forced to squat with friends and family members or return to family homes outside of Port Harcourt. Women who often worked as petty traders and were the primary breadwinners for their families particularly felt the negative impact. Whole families lived in churches and along the road for months and even years. Many families were forced to separate in the pursuit of housing husband from wife, parent from child, brothers from sisters. Those people who went to their village were left without business,
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and bereft of all property. The absence of housing further destabilized the education and opportunities of the people of Agip Waterfront where children and youth were forced to leave school and some adults had to leave successful jobs outside Agip Waterfront to stay in village. See Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie. 5.5. No Compensation or Resettlement for Landlords or Tenants

To date, the Rivers State Government has failed to provide Agip Waterfront landlords or tenants with adequate compensation for the loss of their structures, property, or businesses. Save for two people one who went to court and one politician who owned a hotel at Agip Waterfront no one has received compensation. See Affidavit of Edwin Lenyie. Failure to resettle or compensate left people who lost their homes, businesses and properties with no hope of replacing or rebuilding what was lost, plunging thousands into worse poverty and making vulnerable individuals more vulnerable still. 6.0. ISSUE FOR DETERMINATION Whether the Rivers State Government violated the fundamental and human rights of the residents of Agip Waterfront including the rights to adequate housing/shelter, property, fair hearing/due process, privacy in the home, and livelihood, as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights, the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, among other regional and international instruments ratified by the Federal Republic of Nigeria when it demolished their homes, businesses, and community facilities without any safeguards. 7.0. VIOLATIONS OF FUNDAMENTAL & HUMAN RIGHTS

The December 2004 March 2005 demolitions were carried out with a total absence of procedural safeguards, including adequate notice, consultation, compensation and resettlement. The absence of notice further prevented people from accessing their right to due process of law. Additionally, the demolitions resulted in the deaths of at least 14 residents of the Agip Waterfront community during or after the demolition. The demolitions caused the destruction and loss of valuable property of approximately 30,000 residents who were also rendered homeless and left to live on the streets. Meanwhile, the demolitions destroyed the livelihoods of thousands of members of the Agip community who had built businesses and conducted trade within their villages.

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We respectfully submit that, in light of the facts detailed above, the demolition of Agip Waterfront constitutes a forced eviction in violation of numerous international and regional human rights instruments to which Nigeria is party. Further, the facts amount to numerous other violations of the Agip Waterfront community residents fundamental and human rights guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, among others. Each fundamental and human rights violation is below addressed individually. For each of these violations, members Waterfront community approach the National Human Rights Commission for redress by declaratory and other reliefs (see Section 8 below). 7.1. Forced Eviction / Violation of Right to Shelter or Adequate Housing

The Agip Waterfront community submits that the December 2004 April 2005 demolitions of their homes were forced evictions in violation of their right to adequate housing or shelter that derives, inter alia, from Article 11.1 of the ICESCR, Articles 14, 16, 18 of the African Charter (as domesticated), and the 1999 Constitution. Article 11.1 of the ICESCR states that all parties to the ICESCR must recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based on free consent. The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the body of independent experts established to interpret the ICESCR and monitor state parties compliance, has further elaborated the normative contents of the right to adequate housing. The Committee provides authoritative interpretation of the content of the right to adequate housing and the obligations of states in General Comment 4 (on the right to adequate housing) and General Comment 7 (on forced evictions). In its General Comment 7, the Committee defines a forced eviction as the permanent or temporary removal against their will of individuals, families and/or communities from the homes and/or land which they occupy, without the provision of, and access to, appropriate forms of legal or other protection.

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As summarized in a recent Amnesty International report,2 The Committee has emphasized that evictions may only be carried out as a last resort and only after all feasible alternatives to eviction have been explored in genuine consultation with the affected people. It has clarified that evictions can only be carried out when appropriate procedural protections are in place. These include: an opportunity for genuine consultation with those affected; adequate and reasonable notice for affected people prior to the eviction information on the proposed evictions and, where applicable, on the alternative purpose for which the land or housing is to be used, to be made available in reasonable time to all those affected; government officials or their representatives to be present during an eviction; everyone involved in carrying out the eviction be properly identified; evictions not to take place in particularly bad weather or at night unless the affected people consent otherwise; provision of legal remedies; provision, where possible, of legal aid to people who are in need of it to seek redress from the courts; provision of adequate alternative housing to those who cannot provide for themselves; and compensation for all losses.

The facts of the December 2004 April 2005 demolitions at Agip Waterfront, described above, demonstrate the Rivers State Governments failure to put in place the above procedural protections. Notably, although the Rivers State Government gave inadequate notice that they were going to enumerate and later demolish stalls along the Agip Wall Fence Road for purposes of road expansion in a 7.5-meter setback, the demolition of the entire community came as a total surprise, without any consultation with or notice to persons who suddenly found themselves homeless. There was no compensation or alternative shelter emergency or otherwise made available to any of the landlords or tenants who were rendered homeless during the demolition. Such evictions, without safeguards such as genuine consultation, notice, compensation for all losses and provision of alternatives, clearly constitute forced evictions. We respectfully urge the National Human Rights Commission to so hold.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2

This framework is taken from If You Love Your Life, Move Out!: Forced Eviction in Badia East, Lagos State, Nigeria, Amnesty International and Social and Economic Rights Action Center (UK: August, 2013).

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Beyond constituting a forced eviction in violation of Article 11.1 of the ICESCR, the circumstances described above also violate the right to shelter/housing implicit in the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the 1999 Constitution. In SERAC v. Nigeria, Communication 155/96, the African Commission found that the combined effect of Articles 14 (right to property), 16 (right to family life), and 18 (right to health) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, read together, forbids the wanton destruction of shelter because when housing is destroyed, property, health, and family life are adversely affected. Based on this reasoning, the Commission found destruction of homes to constitute a violation of an implicit right to shelter or housing. There is also ample support in the 1999 Constitution to find a right to shelter or housing. The 1999 Constitution contains the same fundamental rights from which the right to shelter or housing derives in the African Charter, to wit the rights to property contained in Sections 43 and 44 the right to privacy in Section 37. These rights can be read in light of Chapter II, Section 14(2)(d) of the Constitution, which states that the Government shall direct its policies toward ensuring suitable and adequate shelter. We respectfully urge the National Human Rights Commission to adopt the same line of reasoning as the learned African Commission, finding the right to housing and shelter implicit in these provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and finding that the same right has been violated by the Rivers State Governments demolitions carried out in the Agip Waterfront community. 7.2. Violations of Right to Acquire and Own Property

In the course of the Rivers State Governments total demolition of the Agip Waterfront community, thousands of persons rights to acquire and own property were affected through the forcible taking and/or destruction of their homes, business places, markets, and community structures. Due to the lack of notice, most residents also lost valuable belongings that were inside the structures. We submit that the forced acquisition and demolition of homes, business premises, and community facilities, causing large-scale loss of property without due process, adequate compensation or a demonstrated public need, is a violation of the constitutional right to acquire and own both movable and immovable property guaranteed under Sections 43 & 44(1) (a & b) of the 1999 Constitution and the human rights guaranteed by Articles 14 & 21 of the African Charter and other instruments to which Nigeria is party. The Nigerian Constitution guarantees all individuals without discrimination or qualification, the right to acquire and own property and to freely use and enjoy such
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property without interference. Specifically, Sections 43 and 44 of the Constitution of Nigeria provide that: 43. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every citizen of Nigeria shall have the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria. 44. (1) No moveable property or any interest in an immovable property shall be taken possession of compulsorily and no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any part of Nigeria except in the manner and for the purpose prescribed by a law that, among other things (a) Requires the prompt payment of compensation thereof and (b) Gives to any person claiming such compensation a right of access for the determination of his interest in the property and the amount of compensation to a court of law or tribunal or body having jurisdiction in that part of Nigeria. We submit that the combined force of Sections 43 and 44 of the Nigerian Constitution ensure the sanctity of all property, both movable and immovable, by prohibiting the taking of such property without cover of law, compensation, and access to the courts. By implication, Section 44 reaffirms the right to own, possess, use and enjoy both movable and immovable property, since without such rights there would be no need for a prohibition on the taking of property. These protections are also consistent with the common law conception of property, which has long recognized that the right to property includes the right to use and enjoyment, to the exclusion of all others. The protections offered by Section 44 of the Constitution are broad, covering all types of property and any form of interest. As such, these protections extend not only to land, but also to immovable property, such as buildings and fixed structures, and to moveable property, including household items. Consequently, forced evictions and demolitions prima facie violates the constitutional right to property, regardless of whether the individual whose home is demolished had title to the land, because, at a minimum, they result in the destruction of housing materials and household goods. These constitutional requirements are buttressed and informed by Articles 14 and 16 of the African Charter, which is binding law in Nigeria under Section 12 of the Constitution. Article 14 of the African Charter guarantees the right to property and provides that it
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may only be encroached upon in the interest of public need or in the general interest of the community and in accordance with the provisions of appropriate laws. Article 21(2) also provides relief if Article 14 is violated: In case of spoliation the dispossessed people shall have the right to the lawful recovery of its property as well as to an adequate compensation. As was recently confirmed by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (African Commission) in the Centre for Minority Rights Development (Kenya) and Minority Rights Group International on behalf of Endorois Welfare Council Vs. Kenya, Communication No. 276 / 2003: [T]he test laid out in Article 14 of the Charter is conjunctive, that is, in order for an encroachment not to be in violation of Article 14, it must be proven that the encroachment was in the interest of the public need/general interest of the community and was carried out in accordance with appropriate law. Thus, the African Charter reiterates the right to compensation already guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution, adding the requirement that such compensation be not only prompt, but also adequate. The African Charter also reiterates that the taking of property must be in accordance with the provisions of appropriate laws, which reinforces the guarantee in the Nigerian Constitution that a person affected by the taking of property must have access to a court of law for the determination of compensation. We submit that adequate compensation must compensate not only the value of the property taken or destroyed, but also the other harms they may suffer as a consequence of having their property taken/destroyed by Government. Finally, the African Charter supplements the overriding public purpose requirement in the Land Use Act, stating that the right to property any form of property may only be encroached in the interest of public need or in the general interest of the community. We submit that, for the Commission to determine that a taking of property is justified by such a public need or the general interest of the community, the Government must demonstrate that measured in the balance of equity, the urgency of the public need or and the importance of the general interest outweighs the harm suffered by the persons who are deprived of their property and thus are most immediately affected. This calculation must take into consideration the other rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the African Charter, and other human rights instruments to which Nigeria is party. Such interpretation of Article 14 is in line with the reasoning of the African Commission, which in the Endorois Welfare Center Vs. Kenya (Supra) at paragraph 214, held that any limitations on rights must be proportionate to a legitimate need, and should be the least restrictive measures possible. Applying the public interest test under Article
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14 to find that Kenyas displacement of the Endorois community was disproportionate to the public interest asserted, the Commission linked this test to the effect the displacement had on the claimants right to life and livelihood and the principles of human dignity. It noted, moreover, that if the Government had demonstrated a legitimate aim [that] served a public need, it could have been accomplished by alternative means proportionate to the need. From the evidence submitted both orally and in writing, it is clear that the community was willing to work with the Government in a way that respected their property rights. The summary demolition of homes, business premises, community structures, causing loss of immovable property and movable property contained therein, without due process of law, is a clear violation of the right to property under the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter. In order to take property, whether through compulsory acquisition, destruction or otherwise, and not run afoul of the Constitution and its international human rights obligations, the Rivers State Government must proceed only in accordance with appropriate law and with available recourse to the courts of law, with payment of prompt and adequate compensation, and for demonstrated public need and in the general interest of the community. Without taking such steps in the course of forceful acquisition and by further carrying out a surprise demolition without enabling affected persons to remove or protect the movable properties the Rivers State Government violated the property rights of thousands of members of the Agip Waterfront community. We respectfully urge the National Human Rights Commission to so hold. 7.3. Violations of Right to Fair Hearing / Due Process

We submit that the procedures employed by the Rivers State Government in the December 2004 April 2005 demolitions of the Agip Waterfront do not meet even the minimum requirements of due process under Section 36 of the Constitution, as are necessary in a democratic state to limit the power of government vis--vis its people, or other fair hearing guarantees enshrined in the various international and regional instruments to which Nigeria is party. As detailed in the statement of facts, there was no notice of a planned or scheduled demolition to the affected persons in the Agip Waterfront. Instead, the government provided wholly inadequate notice or information in July 2004, and then entered

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completely unannounced in the December 2004 and again in February April 2005 demolitions, leading to the complete destruction of Agip Waterfront. Whatever statements were made by the Rivers State Government agents to the community to justify the ongoing demolition failed to meet the standards of adequate and detailed notice insofar as it failed to cite any law according to which a resident could determine which individuals or houses might be implicated. Section 36 of the Constitution in line with many human rights instruments to which Nigeria is party, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights establishes the standards of due process required in criminal and civil proceedings before courts of law or duly constituted tribunals, and also in administrative proceedings by the executive branch. We respectfully submit that the present matter is civil in nature and involves a determination of the Agip Waterfront communitys civil rights by a government authority. Indeed, a civil proceeding is the normal path to eviction. In point of fact, there are procedures prescribed at law under the Land Use Act for compulsory acquisition or under the Recovery of Premises Act for occupiers of premises that ensure the opportunity to be heard and to have access to a court of law. Such a civil proceeding are more in line with the requirements of Section 36(1) of the Constitution, which would entitle affected residents to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an impartial and independent court of law or other tribunal established by law. In short, evictions even by government should require a valid court order to proceed. Even if the present action is characterized merely as an administrative action, i.e. an executive determination of Agip Waterfront communitys civil rights, which would ignore the enormity of the penalty being imposed by the demolitions/forced evictions, the Constitution at Section 36(2) requires at a minimum that those affected have (1) an opportunity to be heard and (2) the right to appeal the agency determination before it becomes final and may be acted upon. The procedures laid out in laws such as the Rivers State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law, attempt to comply with these minimum due process requirements before executive agency demolitions. Why should demolitions of Agip Waterfront follow such grossly different standards? For all the foregoing reasons, we submit that the methods by which the Rivers State Government invaded the Agip Waterfront and demolished residents homes, business premises, and community facilities do not satisfy minimum due process and are therefore unconstitutional and unlawful. We respectfully urge the National Human Rights Commission to so hold.

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7.4.

Violations of Rights to Family and Private Life, Livelihood, and Education

In addition to the above claims based on fundamental rights violations, we submit that the demolitions of the Agip Waterfront community violate the following fundamental and human rights, among others: (1) the right to private and family life guaranteed under Section 37 of the Constitution and Article 16 of African Charter; (2) the right to livelihood that is implicit in the right to life guaranteed by Section 33 of the Constitution, Article 15 of the African Charter, and explicitly Article 6 of the ICESCR; and (3) the right to education guaranteed by Article 17 of the African Charter (as domesticated) and Article 13 of the ICESCR. Section 37 of the Constitution declares: The privacy of citizens, their homes is hereby guaranteed and protected. We submit that the summary demolitions without adequate notice or due process of law, which displaced thousands of residents and left them homeless, living in the open, with families scattered and separated in search of any available shelter, is clearly a violation of the right to private and family life. In Aliyu Ibrahim v The Commissioner of Police, the Court found that forcefully dragging the applicant out of his home amounted to a violation of Section 37. Surely the events here are at least as extreme we urge the National Human Rights Commission to so hold. We submit that the demolition exercise of the business premises and community facilities in the Agip Waterfront has destroyed the livelihoods of thousands and thereby threatens their non-derogable right to life as guaranteed by Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, Article 4 of the African Charter, and Article 6 of the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural rights (ICESCR). The right to livelihood is a vital component of the right to life because, without a livelihood, living itself becomes impossible. The Indian Supreme Court in Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation (2007) CHR 241, at page 22, a case dealing with the demolition of slum structures near Bombay, India, held as follows: If the right to livelihood is not treated as a part of the right to life, the easiest way of depriving a person of his right to life would be to deprive him of his means of livelihood to the point of abrogation. Such deprivation would not only denude the life of its effective content and meaningfulness but it would make life impossible to live. Deprive a person of his right to livelihood and you shall have deprived him of his life.

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As in the Olga Tellis case, the December 2004 April 2005 demolition exercise carried out in the Agip Waterfront destroyed the business premises, markets, and community facilities of many residents and also displaced thousands who worked in the community or relied on access to water as a principle source of livelihood from the waterfront community. As such, these demolitions constituted an affirmative act by government that disrupted the livelihoods of thousands, thereby constituting a violation of their rights to livelihood/life. We urge National Human Rights Commission to so hold. Finally, we submit that the demolitions carried out in Agip Waterfront have also infringed on the rights of the child, including the fundamental right to education. The rights of the child enjoy a position of utmost importance in Nigerian law. Article 17(1) of the African Charter, which has been domesticated into Nigerian law, provides that [e]very individual has a right to education. Moreover, the Child Rights Act No. 26 of 2003, which gives domestic affect to Nigerias ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, includes numerous provisions on the rights of the child, including the childs right to protection and care as necessary for the well-being of the child under Section 2, right to survival and development under Section 4, and the right to the best attainable state of physical, mental and spiritual health under Section 13, and the right to education under Section 15. These rights are undergirded by the directive principle contained in Article 18 of the Constitution. Lastly, Article 13 of the ICESCR protects the right of everyone to education. Relying on such authorities, the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States in the case of SERAP Vs. Federal Republic of Nigeria and Universal Basic Education Commission, ECW/CCJ/APP/08/08, recognized this right to education as enforceable in Nigeria. By virtue of the ECOWAS Treaty, this decision is binding law in Nigeria. By disrupting livelihoods and displacing thousands from their homes, we submit that the demolitions have also jeopardized the ability of many children to attend school. We submit, therefore, that these demolitions have violated the right to education of the children evicted from Agip Waterfront and respectfully urge the National Human Rights Commission to so hold.

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8.0.

PRAYERS FOR RELIEF A DECLARATION that the December 2004 April 2005 demolitions of Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront community constitutes a forced eviction and, thereby, violates the right to adequate housing guaranteed under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the right to housing/shelter implicit in the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. A DECLARATION that the December 2004 April 2005 demolitions of Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront constitutes a violation of the right to fair hearing guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. A DECLARATION that the December 2004 April 2005 demolitions of Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront resulted in violations of the right to family and private life, the right to livelihood implicit in the right to life, and the right to education guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, among other instruments to which Nigeria is party. An ORDER of MANDATORY INJUNCTION ordering the Rivers State Government to pay adequate compensation for all structures, moveable properties wrongfully lost, damaged or destroyed and for all rights violations suffered by each evictee in the course and in the aftermath of the forced eviction and other losses that resulted from the forceful eviction as set out in a schedule to be submitted, to be paid into a Compensation Fund and distributed according the guidelines set out in the schedule. An ORDER OF MANDATORY INJUNCTION ordering the Rivers State Government to provide, at no cost to evictees, social and other support services to address the trauma and other psychological and emotional harm suffered by evictees. An ORDER of MANDATORY INJUNCTION ordering the Rivers State Government to refrain from carrying out and take immediate steps to prevent forced evictions in the state, including domesticating the prohibition on forced evictions into Rivers State law.
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8.1.

8.2.

8.3.

8.4.

8.5.

8.6.

Complaint Re: Forced Eviction of Eagle Island U.S.T./Agip Waterfront !

hearing, housing, dignity, food

Please find below a petition an statement of the facts, support and reliefs sought by the Agip
Submitted 26th of March 2014

Sincerely,

_________________________________ Anna Maitland Mich Anna Maitland JEI-Nigeria CMA Justice and Empowerment anna@justempower.org info@ Initiatives (JEI Nigeria) +234.803.875.0188 (mobile) anna@justempower.org CC: Eagle Island U.S.T./Ag Gideon Gboro Teebienw

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PETITION REGARDING FORCED EVICTION OF AGIP WATERSIDE COMMUNITIES BY THE RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT, DECEMBER 2004 APRIL 2005 Submitted by: Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) Nigeria Social Development Integrated Center (Social Action) Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform (CMAP) Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) Affidavit of Anthony Ngerebor I, Anthony Ngerebor, Nigerian, Christian, Male, a retired civil servant in Rivers State, residing in Opuoko, in Khana Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State do hereby state as follows: 1. I was a resident of Eagle Island/U.S.T. Agip Waterfront (Agip Waterfront) at the time of the December 2004-April 2005 demolitions and, therefore, I am conversant with the facts below. Except where otherwise noted, the facts below are based on my personal knowledge. 2. That I was born in Opuoko in 1953. That, in 1979, I moved to the U.S.T. Waterside and reclaimed land from the creek to build an 8-room mud structure. I had permission for this use from a family had traditional rights to the land and waterfront l. At the time, I was already working as a civil servant for Nitel in Port Harcourt, a parastatal of the federal government. 3. That in 1987 officials from the Rivers State Ministry of Lands came to U.S.T. Waterside and said they wanted to construct a road. They paid compensation for my 8-room structure and the others whose buildings were demolished to make way for the road were also paid compensation. The Ministry then shifted us to Agip Waterside, to the area that came up to be known as Ogoni Village. The government officials told us to reclaim the land and waterside. 4. That when we moved to that land based on the statements of the Ministry of Land and Housing, the Wondugba Family came to see us, and explained that this was their land and waterside and we would have to rent it from them. I rented a piece of waterside from the Wondugba Family and reclaimed different plots of land through mud fill. I built five structures out of mud and zinc, and had a total of 52 rooms. From 1987 1999 I paid the Wondugba family 100N per room on a monthly basis, and from 1999 until my structures

were demolished, I paid them 500N per room per month. This was the same arrangement for all the landlords in Ogoni Village. 5. That I lived in 10 rooms and rented out 42 rooms from my own structures. By the time of the demolition, I was charging tenants 1,000N per room per month. 6. That right from the time I entered Ogoni Village, I became a chief. There were two other chiefs of Ogoni Village, and we were part of the broader Council of Chiefs for all of Eagle Island/U.S.T. Agip Waterfront. Every month we met and discussed rent, the village, and other community matters. 7. That in December 2004, on the day of the demolition, I was at work when a person came to inform me that the government was demolishing Ogoni Village. When I arrived, I saw some people running helter-skelter and there was no way for people to pack their things out. My home was already destroyed, and they were even destroying the churches. The children in the nursery school were even driven out by a bulldozer. None of my property was recovered. 8. That that same night I sent my family to Opuoko and I went to the building where I worked for Nitel, and the company gave me a bed to squat on for the next 6 months before I could locate another place to sleep. 9. That I met with Chief Jaja and the other chiefs and together we went to the offices of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) to see Barrister Ledum Mittee. He returned with us to the waterside, and we went with him while he snapped photos of the entire place. 10. From that point forward, Chief Jaja and Barr. Mittee handled all of the government meetings. After one meeting, Chief Jaja returned and said that the Commissioner for Housing and Lands was working on getting us compensation. But we never received any compensation. 11. We did not go to court because we were busy concentrating on what to do after our properties were destroyed. 12. That since this time we have also tried to get compensation by going to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and by instructing a lawyer to take our matter to court, but unfortunately he never did so.

PETITION REGARDING FORCED EVICTION OF AGIP WATERSIDE COMMUNITIES BY THE RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT, DECEMBER 2004 APRIL 2005 Submitted by: Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) Nigeria Social Development Integrated Center (Social Action) Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform (CMAP) Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) AFFIDAVIT OF EDWIN LENYIE I, Edwin Lenyie, Nigerian, Christian, Male, businessman, of 1 Empress Close, Ada George in Port Harcourt Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State, do hereby state as follows: 1. That I was born in the area known as Alhaji Village, located in at Eagle Island/U.S.T. Agip Waterfront (Agip Waterfront), in 1984. 2. That I was a resident of Alhaji Village, and my father (Late Chief Lenyie) was one of the chiefs of Alhaji Village at the time of the December 2004-April 2005 demolition of our communities at Agip Waterfront, and I am therefore conversant with the facts deposed to herein. 3. That the Agip Waterfront was comprised of three villages: Ogoni, Alhaji and Ibioma. These villages were very highly populated, and therefore, there were many polling stations set up in the area during elections within Ward 18. Annexed hereto and marked Exhibit A is a document from 1996 evidencing our communitys participation in the electoral system in Ward 18. 4. Agip Waterfront had a council of chiefs and elders, comprised of chiefs from each village and led by the Chief and Chairman T.O. Jaja and Chief and Secretary Lele. My father was also a member of the council of chiefs. We also had a single Community Development Committee (CDC). Annexed hereto and marked Exhibits B1-B3 are three letters inviting this CDC, represented by one Chief Jaja, to participate in UNICEF-support Government activities. 5. That there were more than 5 schools between the three villages, two smaller markets in Ibioma and Ogoni Village and one larger market in Alhaji, over 18 boreholes, over 15 churches, and many small businesses that were owned and operated out of the Agip Waterfront. Annexed hereto and marked

Exhibit C are some photographs of structures in the community at the time of the demolition, evidencing the quality of construction that was common. 6. That my father first settled in the area that became known as Alhaji Village in the mid 1970s, reclaiming some land from the creek using mud and sand. Some other people did the same, and eventually the Ahorlu family came to him and told him that the area belonged to them. He bought them a drink and was given permission to use the land. Later, in the 1990s, the Ahorlu family returned and demanded rent for use of the land, which all of the landlords of Alhaji Village agreed to pay. At the time of the demolition, we were paying 200N per room per month to the Ahorlu family. 7. That my father eventually built 5 structures using mud and zinc with a total of 45 rooms. Our family my mother and father plus my two brothers and two sisters lived in 5 rooms, while my father rented out the remaining 40 rooms. In the early 1990s my father dug a borehole as well. 8. That in 199697 my father acquired more waterfront for me to start reclaiming using mud and sand. By 1999 I was able to build my first 8-room structure out of mud. I moved into the structure in 2001 and occupied 2 rooms, and in 2002 I started renting out the remaining 6 rooms. I planned to continue to build other structures on the remainder of the reclaimed land. 9. That I had just completed secondary school about a year before the demolition and I was working with my father in his fishing business that operated from the community. I also managed my familys borehole business and did odd jobs around the community to help make ends meet. I planned to go to university eventually, and was trying to manage a way for ends to meet up so that I could afford tuition. 10. That at that time of the demolition all of my other siblings were in school. Life at that time was good. We had food on the table and business that allowed us to meet up with our familys needs. However, the demolition destroyed our livelihoods and none of us has been able to return to school since. 11. That on 23 July 2004 some generic 7-day removal notices were pasted on stalls along the road at Ogoni Village, but no one knew why they were posted, what they were about, or who was supposed to move. Annexed hereto and marked Exhibit D is a copy of this removal notice. 12. Later that week, I was in the house preparing to go to work when I saw a crowd of people along the road. I came out to see them, and I saw the Late
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Chief Jaja and the Late Chief Lenyie (my father), along with some youth and women, and they were questioning officials from the Ministry of Housing and Lands. The government officials said that the government intended to expand the road to a 7.5-meter setback from the center of the road, and that the government would send people to come and enumerate the buildings before anything was demolished so that the owners of the stalls could be compensated. They also showed us where the 7.5-meter setback would stop. However, no government officials came back to enumerate those stalls. 13. That the next thing we saw was demolition, but with no notice, enumeration, or compensation. Over a number of months spanning from December 2004 to April 2005, a demolition squad under supervision of officials from the Rivers State Ministry of Housing and Lands, escorted by armed police and MOPOL, came with bulldozers and caterpillars and demolished all the structures of Agip Waterfront going far beyond the 7.5-meter set-back. 14. That the government first came in December 2004 and returned from February-April 2005, each time without any notice or information about the extent of the demolition. Each time they stopped, the remaining community members thought this was the end of the demolition. They also believed that the government officials would return to compensate the people whose structures had been demolished. However, the government continued to demolish, without notice, until the entirety of the community was destroyed. No enumeration was done and no compensation scheme established. 15. The demolition of Alhaji Village started from along the road. We were not opposed to the Government demolishing for road expansion indeed we welcomed it because a wider road would help the economic development of our community and growth of our businesses so long as the persons affected had adequate notice and were adequately compensated. However, these steps were not taken and the demolition far exceeded the setback. 16. On the morning the demolition of Alhaji Village began, I came out of my home and I saw armed policemen and MOPOL with guns. Some of the chiefs went to talk to the demolition squad, and I heard the demolition squad tell the chiefs to wait. The chiefs asked how they could wait when the squad was there to destroy their houses. Soon the police started brutalizing and beating people, and before long they were releasing teargas. 17. We had to take our shirts off and tie them over our faces because of the teargas. We started running towards Ibiama to get away from the teargas. As we were running, we saw a man arrive in a jeep with an escort of many armed
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policemen. We thought the man had come to address the people, so some of us went back. I heard the man tell the demolition squad that he wanted to see the whole place demolished, right down to the river. I do not know who this man was, but after he gave this order, the demolition squad was not willing to listen to or discuss with anyone else from the community. 18. That, after hearing this order and seeing how the demolition squad responded, I ran back to my house to try to salvage my belongings. By the time I arrived, a swamp buggy in front of my house and the demolition was underway. I was only able to take one bag out from my house, which I ran up to the road, before I ran to my fathers house to help my family. I helped my younger brother to bring out one bag to the road where I discovered that my other bag had been stolen. So I left my younger brother with the bag we had carried out and ran back to my fathers house. By the time I returned, my fathers house had been destroyed. My family and I lost most of our possessions, including our important documents, the stove, generators, clothes, televisions, CDs, a music set, foams, and so on. 19. That the police and MOPOL tried to prevent returning residents of Agip Waterfront from reaching their houses to collect their belongings. As a consequence, many people lost most of their properties to the demolition. 20. That throughout the period of the demolitions, I saw people running helterskelter, scrambling to recover any few possessions while the bulldozers worked destroying homes and businesses. Whole buildings were toppled while people ran among them and no safety precautions were taken. 21. That I witnessed the death of one Mr. Badom Zua during the demolition of Alhaji Village. I was running and heard a shout so I stopped and looked around. I saw that the man driving the bulldozer had heard the shout as well and he used the bulldozer to push the wall aside, and we all saw that there was a man still in the house. Government officials allowed me and some other people to come forward and collect Mr. Badom Zua, who had been crushed by the wall. We carried him out the house and to a car and his family rushed him to the hospital. About twenty minutes later, some of the people who had accompanied him returned and told me that the man had died while they were on the way to the hospital. 22. That after our homes and businesses were destroyed, many of us cleared spaces among the rubble and slept outside for up to a week or more. We were exposed to rain, sun, mosquitos and illness. Those who were lucky took shelter in the churches in the community until those too were demolished.
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23. That on that first night I slept on the ground with my family, including my younger siblings who were between 9 and 16 years, because there was nowhere else for us to go. We slept there for over a week before we found a one-room bacha at Mgbuosimini that we rented. 24. That as a result of the demolition, a number of people fell ill and died. Amongst those who died are those detailed below and others, include one Mr. Yormii, Chef T.O. Jaja 25. That my father, Chief Taekor Lenyie, was badly affected from the time sleeping outside; he fell ill and he never fully recovered. We took him to the hospital several times and were told that his sickness was a result of the cold he got while sleeping outside. He died in May 2006. 26. That my mother, Mrs. Lekara Christina Lenyie, died in 2011 due to high blood pressure and grief over my fathers premature death. 27. That around 1:30 p.m. on February 8, 2014 at the Social Action office on Kaani Street in Bori, Rivers State, one Thankgod Yaabar, told me and I verily believe: a. That he was born in 1985 and grew up at Alhaji Village; b. That his mother, Patience Yaabar had been a business woman and resident of Alhaji Village since 1985; c. That when her home and business were destroyed, there was no where to go, and the family had to squat at a bacha, where Patience fell sick due to the cold and poor living conditions; d. That after 2 years of struggle, she died as a result of that sickness; e. That Thankgods senior brother, Patience Gogoru, also sick as a result of the cold and poor living conditions, as well as thinking too much, died some few months after the death of his mother; f. That Thankgod was left with the responsibility of caring for his younger brother, Lucky Patience, whom he sent to stay with another family; g. That he returned one day to check on his brother, and learned that his brother had died as well; and h. That to this day, Thankgod Yaabar is devastated by the loss of three family members as a result of the demolition. 28. That around 1:45 pm on February 8, 2014 at the Social Action office on Kaani Street in Bori, Rivers State, one Nena Fanor told me, and I verily believe: a. That she had resided in Alhaji Village with her son, Barkpan Fanor; b. That she had relied on this son for her care and upkeep;
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c. That Barkpon was a landlord with three buildings in Alhaji Village, and he was not compensated for any of those buildings; d. That after Alhaji Village was demolished, they had nowhere to go, and were forced to squat where ever they could; e. That, as a result of this devastation and the terrible living conditions, her son fell very sick; f. That they eventually returned to their village of Baen; however, because he could not afford medical care, her son did not improve; g. That in 2008, Barkpon Fanor died as a result of that illness, leaving behind his wife and their three children; and h. That, since his death, Nena, Barkpons wife, and his three children have been struggling to survive. 29. That at around 2pm on February 8, 2014 at the Social Action office on Kaani Street in Bori, Rivers State, one Lawrence Gbarawii, born in 1993 and a former resident of Alhaji Village, told me and I verily believe: a. That before the demolition, Lawrence resided in Alhaji Village with his mother, Yellow Gbarawii, and his elder brother; b. That his mother was a landlady and owned a building and a hotel, which she ran as her business; c. That Yellow was not compensated for either structure and lost her business and source of livelihood as a result of the demolition; d. That as a result of the demolition, the family was forced to move to their village of Kpean to squat with another family; e. That shortly after going to Kpean, Yellow fell sick; the demolition worsened her high blood pressure into hypertension; f. That the doctors could do nothing to help her, and after years of suffering, she died in 2010; and g. That Lawrence and his brother are both struggling now, with no parent to help them survive. 30. That at around 2:15pm on February 8, 2014 at the Social Action office on Kaani Street in Bori, Rivers State, one Charity Gboero, a former resident of Ogoni Village, told me and I verily believe: a. That she moved to Ogoni Village with my senior brother, Sunday Gboero, in around 1999 so she could attend school; b. That as a result of the demolition, she and her brother were forced to return to their family home in Opuoko; and c. That her brother became very ill shortly after they returned to village, and after three years he died.

31. That at around 2:30pm on February 8, 2014 at the Social Action office on Kaani Street in Bori, Rivers State, one Charity Noah of the village of Wawa told me and I verily believe: a. That Charitys sister, Blessing Noah Domine was a resident of Alhaji village, where she ran a provisions store; b. That one day Blessing went to market to buy provisions to sell at her store, and when she returned she found that the government had demolished her business and scattered everything she owned; c. That she came to Wawa Village to squat with Charity shortly thereafter, and became very sick with hypertension; d. That she kept saying that the money she had invested and lost was too much and, after just six months, Blessing died; and e. That Blessing was only 26 at that time. 32. That at about 2:30pm on February 8, 2014 at the Social Action office on Kaani Street in Bori, Rivers State, one Samuel Gbignaa, born in 1988 and former resident of Alhaji Village, told me and I verily believe: a. That before the demolition Samuel lived with his mother, Patient Gbignaa, in Alhaji village; and b. That Patient became very sick with hypertension after the demolition, and that she died in May 2005. 33. That at about 4pm on February 1, 2014 in Kpean, Khana Local Government Area, Rivers State, one Abike Tamana, told me and I verily believe: a. That her daughter, Maria Tamana, was a resident and business owner in Alhaji Village for more than 10 years before the demolition, where she used to run a big store and a restaurant; b. That Maria used to send money home to her family and was the key provider for her three children, mother and younger siblings; c. That after the demolition, Maria had to come to Kpean to live with her mother, and she became very ill from thinking too much; making matters worse, her husband and she separated after the eviction and the children were with their father for some time; and d. That Maria never recovered and died sometime in 2011. 34. That during the demolitions, different organizations tried to come to our assistance, most notably the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP). MOSOP staff members were on site during the demolition, called in the media to report on what was happening, and helped us to speak to international bodies and to Government. The then MOSOP President, Barr. Ledum Mittee, was especially active and spoke directly to the Governor. Despite these efforts, we never received compensation or resettlement.

Annexed hereto and marked Exhibits E1-E2 are two statements from MOSOP about the demolition posted on the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) website on March 13 and April 14, 2005. 35. That during and after the demolition, radio and newspapers reported on the destruction; various human rights organizations, such as MOSOP and the Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL), issued press statements condemning the demolition. An Australian journalist, Eric Campbell, and videographer were able to take extensive video coverage of the demolition before they were arrested. Annexed hereto and marked Exhibits F1-F3 is a press statement form IHRHL, a news article about the arrest of Eric Campbell during the demolition, and a DVD of video footage. 36. That, in 2008, we decided to pursue the matter before the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) set up by Governor Amaechi. Annexed hereto and marked Exhibit G1-G3 is our submission to the TRC submitted on 23 May 2008, a subsequent letter to the Rivers State Governor dated 20 November 2008, and a request for an audience with the Rivers State Commissioner of Urban and Rural Development dated 25 November 2008. 37. That the Rivers State Government did nothing in response to the recommendations of the TRC. 38. That, thereafter, in cooperation with other community members and different organizations, I continued to seek justice. Among other things, through Barristers Michael Kpabep and Ledum Mittee, we submitted a letter to the Governor appealing for compensation to finally be paid. In early 2013, an organization called Freedom Fighters International also wrote to the Governor on our behalf. Annexed hereto and marked Exhibit H1-H2 is a copy of the letter dated 23 August 2010 from Barr. Ledum Mittee and the letter dated 25 March 2013 from Freedom Fighters International. 39. That the Rivers State Government never responded to these appeals. 40. That up till now, the road between Agip Gate and Eagle Island has never been expanded, belying the purpose given by the Rivers State Government for the demolition that devastated so many thousands of lives. 41. That, so far as I am aware, none of the evictees from Agip Waterfront received any compensation, except for one who went to court and was successful and one politician who owned a hotel at Agip Waterfront.

PETITION REGARDING FORCED EVICTION OF AGIP WATERSIDE COMMUNITIES BY THE RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT, DECEMBER 2004 APRIL 2005 Submitted by: Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) Nigeria Social Development Integrated Center (Social Action) Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform (CMAP) Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) Expert Affidavit of Daniel Obriango I, Daniel Obriango, Nigerian, Male, Christian, Geospatial Analyst, of 3 Oku Close, Federal Housing Estate Rumeme, Port Harcourt Local Government Area, Rivers State, do hereby assert the following: 1. That I obtained my Bachelors in Science in Geography in 2001 from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. 2. That in 2007 I obtained my Masters of Science in Geographical Information Systems with Remote Sensing from the University of Greenwich in Kent, United Kingdom. 3. That as a part of those studies, I became fluent in mapping and using many Geographical Information System (GIS) tools, including ESRIs ArcView 3.2/5.0, ArcMap, ArcGIS v891/9.2, 9.3 and 10, IDRISI, Mendes / Andes / Kilimanjaro, ERDAS Imagine, ER Mapper, and Oracle 9i. 4. That from 2009 2013 I worked as a geospatial analyst at Egeospatial, a GIS consulting service in Nigeria, where I among other things sourced and generated statistical data in and around Africa. 5. That I previously worked as a geospatial analyst for the UK Ministry of Defence (2008-2009) and as a GIS specialist for the Brass Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Project in Brass Island, Nigeria. 6. That I currently work as the Participatory Mapping Technical Specialist at the Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform (CMAP), an NGO that focuses on participatory urban planning in informal settlements in Port Harcourt. 7. That as a part of my work for CMAP, I have mapped several informal communities, including doing basic structural counts and enumeration based on on-the-ground research and mapping processes.

PETITION REGARDING FORCED EVICTION OF AGIP WATERSIDE COMMUNITIES BY THE RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT, DECEMBER 2004 APRIL 2005 Submitted by: Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) Nigeria Social Development Integrated Center (Social Action) Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform (CMAP) Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) Expert Affidavit of Daniel Obriango I, Daniel Obriango, Nigerian, Male, Christian, Geospatial Analyst, of 3 Oku Close, Federal Housing Estate Rumeme, Port Harcourt Local Government Area, Rivers State, do hereby assert the following: 1. That I obtained my Bachelors in Science in Geography in 2001 from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. 2. That in 2007 I obtained my Masters of Science in Geographical Information Systems with Remote Sensing from the University of Greenwich in Kent, United Kingdom. 3. That as a part of those studies, I became fluent in mapping and using many Geographical Information System (GIS) tools, including ESRIs ArcView 3.2/5.0, ArcMap, ArcGIS v891/9.2, 9.3 and 10, IDRISI, Mendes / Andes / Kilimanjaro, ERDAS Imagine, ER Mapper, and Oracle 9i. 4. That from 2009 2013 I worked as a geospatial analyst at Egeospatial, a GIS consulting service in Nigeria, where I among other things sourced and generated statistical data in and around Africa. 5. That I previously worked as a geospatial analyst for the UK Ministry of Defence (2008-2009) and as a GIS specialist for the Brass Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Project in Brass Island, Nigeria. 6. That I currently work as the Participatory Mapping Technical Specialist at the Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform (CMAP), an NGO that focuses on participatory urban planning in informal settlements in Port Harcourt. 7. That as a part of my work for CMAP, I have mapped several informal communities, including doing basic structural counts and enumeration based on on-the-ground research and mapping processes.

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3/17/2014

UNPO: Ogoni: The Demolition of the Agip Waterside

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March 13, 2005

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Ogoni: The Demolition of the Agip Waterside


Between 80-90 percent of the shanty town known as Agip waterside in Port Harcourt has been demolished by the Rivers State government in an exercise in which it is accused of giving inadequate notice and no compensation to long and short term resident Summary Between 80-90 percent of the shanty town known as Agip waterside in Port Harcourt has been demolished by the Rivers State government in an exercise in which it is accused of giving inadequate notice and no compensation to long and short term residents. The demolition has affected poor shanty residents, churches, schools and small businesses which have developed in the area over a period of around fifteen years. Human rights groups have raised an alarm over drastic impacts on families displaced by the demolition with thousands facing serious problems finding replacement shelter, disruption to marginal employment, and disruption to schooling for those able to afford even basic education. There has been no response to date from the Rivers State Government or Nigerian Agip Oil Company to appeals for assistance to those who are displaced from the waterside or who are still clustered in one or two remaining buildings. The State government is breaching both the legal rights of many residents and is certainly ignoring International Conventions on the Rights to Shelter and Adequate standards of living. Introduction The AGIP waterside shanty town is located immediately behind and adjacent to the AGIP Industrial Area in Port Harcourt Rivers State and the University of Science and technology (UST) of Port Harcourt. The land occupied is marginal, mostly falling between the road to Eagle Island and the expanse of creeks immediately behind the AGIP premises with houses stretching from the fence line of the company several kilometres towards Eagle Island which is the main road through the area. The exact population of the Agip Waterside is unknown but by 2005 it had become one of the most densely populated areas of Port Harcourt, competing only with shanty towns in the Abonnemma wharf and other marginal areas of Port Harcourt. A typical single room accommodation of 6m x 4m might sleep 3-4 people or more if children are involved. Estimates of the population are all in the thousands with the low end being around a conservative 5,000 and most towards 10,000 or higher. The waterside has been used as accommodation for poorer people in Port Harcourt since at least the late 1980s and by the early 1990s, the Rivers State government was granting certificates of occupancy (title equivalent) for the area. Although there are no official amenities (electricity or water)in the area at the time of demolition there were Churches, schools, shops and some small businesses which had been established in the area. Some residents interviewed had been living in the same accommodation for more than ten years and they had indicated that others were residing in the area for more than fifteen years. Others have moved to the increasingly crowded waterside after being affected by other conflicts in the state. Some had moved on more than two previous occasions because of conflicts. In recent times there have some been accusations that the area harbours gang members and criminals of differing types. There is a consensus, that like other areas, the waterside suffers from petty thieves and minor criminals but the evidence of any major criminal presence has not been produced by the State government or any other body at the time of writing [and it was certainly not evidenced by any resistance to the demolition of the waterside area]. Timeline of the Demolition The accounts collected to date all refer to several visits by the Rivers State Ministry of Housing and Lands which date to mid 2004. One typical account gives the following dates: 23rd July,2004 A team of Mobile Police visited the area demanding that people move out. Subsequently, there was a visit by a delegation comprising the Director of Land and Urban Development within the same week. The Director is reported to have come to the Agip Waterside and explained that there was a need to remove any properties which are within 7.5m of the centre of the Eagle Island Road to allow its expansion. The Director was reported to have emphasised that they were not coming to demolish the waterside area but only to expand the road. 22nd December, 2004 Director of Lands (reportedly in person) and a team of MOPOL came and began destroying houses both inside and outside the earlier specified area. Stopped work December 23rd and reported to have said they would return in January to resume work. Interviewee was not aware of any further contact from the Department of lands 14th February 2005 After a delegation of Ogoni residents from the AGIP waterside visited MOSOP (Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni people) offices in Port Harcourt, MOSOP wrote to Agip [see appendix] to express concerns over allegations

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3/17/2014

UNPO: Ogoni: The Demolition of the Agip Waterside


Members
Ogoni

that AGIP had an interest in having the waterside area demolished. Residents reported being rebuffed and abused by company representatives. Monday, 28th February ,2005 Homans Engineering Company with a representative from the Department of Lands and Housing began demolition work which continued throughout the week with a small mobile police escort providing security. Numerous accounts of residents only having time to retrieve clothing [or nothing at all if absent] before their properties are demolished. Friday,5th March, 2005 MOSOP and other third parties make urgent efforts to contact AGIP over the increasing impact of the demolition. Copies of earlier correspondence provided to company staff and the head of Public Affairs is informed of concerns that there is an urgent need to suspend the demolition. Visitors to the site are told by representatives from the State government that the exercise is being carried out as a part of Urban Development of Port Harcourt. A pastor for the Apostolic Church ' reportedly arrested at the order of the State Director of Lands when presenting a copy of a Certificate of Occupancy dating to 1993 from the Rivers State government. Only released same evening on the community presenting the landlord who was immediately arrested and only released on the payment of bail to the Mobile Police who held him in Port Harcourt. Reportedly no interview conducted or charges preferred. Saturday,6th March ,2005 MOSOP President Ledum Mitee raises the matter of the demolition in person with the Rives State governor [receives assurances that people will be compensated] Third parties assured that AGIP Head of Public Affairs will call MOSOP President [no such call is ever received] Demolition continues on Saturday 6th March and Sunday 7th March,2005 Monday, 8th March, 2005 A number of human rights groups based in Port Harcourt issue a public appeal to the Rivers State Government and to AGIP to suspend the demolition and pay urgent attention to the needs of people without adequate means of survival being displaced by the demolition. Agip Oil Public Affairs manager writes in responds to correspondence of MOSOP from February 14th with an offer to conduct a Joint Investigation to the area. No mention of any response from AGIP on humanitarian concerns regarding their immediate neighbours. By this time around 70% to 80% of the waterside area has been demolished with areas which can only be accessed by boat being the only with temporary immunity Tuesday, 9th March,2005 MOSOP writes to AGIP Head of Public Affairs to suggest a meeting for Wednesday 10th March with AGIP management as preliminary to any further step. No response is received Members of the Agip waterside report that around 200- 300 persons without means to relocate are sleeping in or around 2 churches which have not yet been demolished. Reports also indicate repeated declarations from officials that they will return to demolish the churches and few other remaining buildings. Thursday, 11th March,2005 Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL) issues a fresh statement on the demolition and urges that affected residents be compensated for the loss of their property. Television coverage shows the Rivers State Commissioner for Lands and Housing claiming that the State government is responsible for the demolition and that it will continue. Friday, 12th March,2005 A representative to the State Government denies to an international news agency any knowledge of demolition of Agip water side or any knowledge of statement by Commissioner for Lands and Housing Saturday, 12th March ,2005 Fresh reports from the Apostolic church that a message from State Department of Lands officials that the Church will be demolished on Monday morning. Rives State Government Actions After several visits by different groups there is little apparent justification for the demolition of Agip waterside in the manner in which it was conducted. There was no evidence found that people, many of whom had lived in the area for in excess of ten years, had been given adequate or fair warning about the scale and reasons for the demolition. The demolition has clearly affected hundreds (almost certainly thousands) of families of very limited means who by any definition would be regarded as living in serious poverty. These people have been displaced to rural areas or other shanty towns without compensation of any kind. The demolition appears to have taken place with minimal or no warning and in breach of earlier undertakings by the State Director of Lands. There has been no response by the State government to both private and public appeals on behalf of those affected by the demolition [although at the time of the demolition the Rivers State Governor was on record criticising the development efforts of both UNDP and oil companies operating in Rivers State]. State government officials show no awareness of the possibility that they are breaching legal rights of residents, who at the very least should have obvious squatter rights ( which are applicable under Nigerian law). There is no indication at this time of how the State government has handled the question of people with certificates of occupancy (Nigerian title equivalent) issued over the past ten to fifteen years. Nigeria Agip Oil Company response to the Demolition of the Agip Waterside

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UNPO: Ogoni: The Demolition of the Agip Waterside

Agip was first formally contacted on the issue of the waterside demolition on February 14th where MOSOP reported to the company the concerns of residents that Agip was involved in a possible pending demolition with a view to expanding the land available to the company for expansion. MOSOP also reported complaints from residents that they had been rebuffed abusively when attempts were made to contact the company directly. No response was received by MOSOP from Agip until after the matter entered the public domain on March 8th [at which time Agip in correspondence denied having any interest in the demolition]. No response has been received in regard of public (and private )appeals that Agip consider humanitarian assistance to people being displaced immediately on the companys fence line. The only correspondence from Agip now appears to be a poorly supported public relations measure as the company has taken no further action on receipt of a response to its offer of a joint investigation visit Recommendations 1. The State government as a matter of urgency should look into and address the situation of those at the Agip waterside who have no obvious means of shelter or feeding as a result of the demolition of Agip waterside. 2. The State government should suspend further demolition until: a proper investigation of the demolition has taken place which should cover the reasons for the demolition, the notice given, and the governments responsibilities for compensation under legal and humanitarian grounds. 3. Agip should make good on its undertaking to meet with MOSOP (and other human rights groups who have called for the company to respond) and take immediate steps to assist its neighbours , even at a basic level, on humanitarian grounds or publicly explain why it will not do so In the absence of action on the part of the State government or Agip, donors agencies and emergency response organisations should review the situation at the Agip waterside with a view to providing urgently needed assistance, either directly or through local partners. Home | News | About UNPO | Nations & People | Activities | Publications | Donations
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UNPO: Ogoni: Nigerian Bulldozers Smash Shanty Town in Oil City

http://www.unpo.org/article/2329

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April 14, 2005

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Ogoni: Nigerian Bulldozers Smash Shanty Town in Oil City


Government bulldozers rolled in to smash hundreds of homes and a church in a Nigerian shanty town backing onto a site run by the Italian oil giant Agip on Wednesday Government bulldozers rolled in to smash hundreds of homes and a church in a Nigerian shanty town backing onto a site run by the Italian oil giant Agip on Wednesday, in a brutal operation that has left thousands homeless. The Rivers State government has ordered that "Agip Waterside" -- a riverfront community in the sprawling oil city of Port Harcourt -- be demolished to make way for development, but no effort has been made to find homes for its thousands of residents, local rights activists said. Bulldozers fitted with mechanical claws, and protected by police and troops armed with assault rifles, tore through hundreds of hundreds of wood and concrete block homes and destroyed a church which had been used as a shelter for the area's pregnant and nursing mothers. "We have complained to the government but there seems to be nothing we can do, nothing we can do," said Reverend Lekia Gbosi of the Ascension Apostolic Church, where until Wednesday he had been sheltering 28 children, their mothers and ten pregnant women in his church. His fellow pastor Saro Meelubari John said children had still been in the long, yellow-painted clay-brick structure when the demolition began, and witnesses said that police had beaten back bystanders with whips. Demolition began at Agip Waterside in February this year, but was halted after local rights activists protested. Residents began to return and to rebuild their lives on a long strip of land between the mangrove swamp and Agip's boundary fence in a community which has been growing since 1988 without any complaint from the authorities. On Tuesday, the demolition crews were back with a vengeance, tearing down the buildings even as residents glumly struggled to salvage what they could of the possessions lying broken among the rubble. "This is what we suffer in Nigeria," sighed 48-year-old Michael Kamza, a civil servant and a member of the minority Ogoni community, as he told a reporter how his meagre household goods -- a bed and a television -- had been destroyed in the rubble of his home. "I'm going back to Ogoni," he said. Nearby, 73-year-old N.K. Akari sat under a table on a straw sleeping mat, all that was left of his ruined life. "I will stay here until it rains, and then I will find my way," he said. Where will he go? "Nowhere," he admitted. Residents angrily denied that they had been compensated or even warned of the impending demolition. Port Harcourt is the largest city in the Niger Delta and the centre for Nigeria's multimillion dollar oil industry. Poor job-seekers from across the region have crowded into the city hoping to make their fortunes, but the vast majority live in poverty and with uncertain property rights. Some activists and residents in Agip Waterside suspect that the demolition has been ordered to allow Italian oil giant to expand its base in the city, but the firm insisted that it had nothing to do with the demolition. "We are not aware of any demolition of homes near our headquarters in Port Harcourt. If any demolition is taking place, it is not to our knowledge and we have no hand in it," said Agip's spokesman in Nigeria, Tajudeen Adigun. Rivers State officials did not respond to calls for comment and a spokeswoman for the state police command denied any knowledge of the operation. On Saturday, a gang of thugs invaded the community and killed a local man. His body was still lying by the roadside on Wednesday. Local people believe the corpse was left as a warning from the state government that they should go. Two members of a television documentary crew from the Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC) were arrested after they asked police if they could film the demolition. They were later released with apologies, one of the crew said. "The demolition is being carried out without any alternative provision being made for the accommodation of the people," said Anyakwee Nsirimovu, of the Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, a local pressure group. "These people are just walking around with their luggage, without any hope. We're talking about thousands of people."

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UNPO: Ogoni: Nigerian Bulldozers Smash Shanty Town in Oil City

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Journalists freed in Nigeria - National - www.theage.com.au

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Journalists freed in Nigeria


By Jesse Hogan April 14, 2005 - 11:43AM Two Australian journalists were arrested and held for three hours when they tried to film a shantytown in Nigeria. Foreign Correspondent executive producer Mark Corcoran told theage.com.au that the pair were not hurt or troubled by the incident, despite claims by ABC camera operator Ron Foley that police kicked him in the shin when they tried to seize his camera. Foley, along with reporter Eric Campbell, was arrested in the southern city of Port Harcourt while compiling a story for Foreign Correspondent on Nigeria's oil industry. The journalists had approached armed police officers guarding bulldozers that were destroying mud brick and corrugated iron shacks housing more than 5000 people near the Agip waterside neighbourhood. When they asked if they could film, they were arrested. A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs told theage.com.au that local embassy staff were aware of the arrests, but were not expecting requests for help. "They have not received any request for consular assistance, probably because they (the journalists) have been released, and they don't anticipate they will," she said. Mr Corcoran was immediately notified of the arrests by on-site producer Maryann Jolley, who was not arrested. He said the situation was not serious. "It was not big deal. I've been in Nigeria and been arrested - it just comes with the territory," Mr Corcoran said. "They were foreigners with a camera, and in a place like that, the initial reaction of those people is to drag you in and ask questions later." He said both were experienced journalists who would not have been bothered by the incident. Mr Campbell told local reporters that one officer tried to grab Foley's camera, and kicked him in the shin when he would not let go. "The police at the site were quite aggressive, but the police at the station were quite professional," he said. Mr Corcoran said a local politician intervened to ensure the journalists' release. "It was sorted out very quickly down there by the Governor, who is the equivalent of the Premier, and they were out within two hours interviewing the governor." Mr Corcoran also said he had spoken with Mr Foley, the cameraman, but had not been told of the scuffle. "I spoke to Ron an hour or two later and he didn't even mention that to me. It couldn't have been uppermost in his thoughts." He said the crew resumed work straight afterward, and would remain in Nigeria for about another month while the story is compiled. Police officials in Port Harcourt refused to discuss the incident. The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People has criticised the month-long demolitions ordered by the
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State Government, saying they unduly target shanty towns inhabited by the Ogoni ethnic minority. The movement charges the state and federal governments as well as oil multinationals have degraded their environment while offering few job options for farmers and fishers whose lands and waters have been polluted. The movement was founded by activist-writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was executed along with eight others by Nigeria's former military government in 1995. Port Harcourt is the main operational base for oil multinationals that produce Nigeria's daily oil exports of 2.5 million barrels, making it the world's seventh largest petroleum producer. Mr Campbell previously gained attention when he was injured in a bomb blast in Iraq in 2003. Freelance camera operator Paul Moran, 39, was killed in the blast. - with AP Get The Age home delivered for as little as $2.70 a week*
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