In February 2012: Cameron's government files an amicus brief in the Ogoni case of Kiobel v Shell, arguing that US courts should no longer allow lawsuits against multinational corporations for complicity in human rights violations. The Alien Tort Claims Act has been a key legal mechanism by which communities in poor countries have sought to hold foreign companies accountable for abuses in their territories, and even the US government has argued in favor of the law's continued application.
Now MOSOP President/Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo has described British Prime David Cameron's government amicus brief in the Ogoni case of Kiobel v Shell in the United States of America as an ill-advised and short-sighted colonial tactics.
Diigbo said the prime minister’s action has deeper implications for destabilizing Nigeria. "What it means is that victims of oil operations that have no way of seeking equity and justice should take the law into their hands instead to use the legitimate judicial process available in the United States for requisite redress against violations by multinational oil companies in which Cameroon’s government has vested interest," Diigbo explained.
“Will Cameron direct the worst victimized, marginalized and excluded people in the world – the Ogonis to go to Nigerian court, while at the same time permitting the British court to put f former governor James Ibori of Delta State of Nigeria on trial after he was acquitted by the Nigerian judicial system? Cameroon's government action is a clear case of dishonesty and double standard. Is Cameroon's government saying that only Britain as a former colonial authority has the right to adjudicate in criminal cases from Nigeria? This is the kind of political leaders that have caused discontent and provoke criminal bloodshed by desperate victims of injustice in the world, Diigbo stated.
I am shocked that Cameron does not want the US courts to allow lawsuits against multinational corporations for complicity in human rights violations. The US government has maintained that the law be sustained. The Alien Tort Claims Act was used in the case of our leader, late Ken Saro-Wiwa and others against Shell and perhaps this what Cameroon’s government does not want to see in order to cover up corporate crimes.
Diigbo said rather than indict the US Judicial system; Cameroon ought to be extremely grateful to the United States Court system for creating an avenue for conflict resolution that is peaceful; and serving as an alternative to violence and bloodshed.
Diigbo accused Cameron of making desperate attempt to continue with British colonial exploitative and destructive pattern, which in the 19th century exterminated many indigenous nations in Africa.
Diigbo called on nongovernmental organizations in Britain and other British citizens to show their outrage at Cameroon’s poor judgment, saying that Cameron is the kind of prime minister that is responsible for the decline of British leadership role in the world and that Britain has since 1993 confused certain governments concerning global leadership role in the Ogoni case.
“I think the vast majority of British citizens today may not realize the price that the Ogoni people paid to upgrade standard of living in Britain, when Britain was afflicted by fear for the future, food insecurity, bloodshed and the average life of a middle-class person was 55 and that of a worker was only 25 before British colonialism extended its cold hands to Ogoni,” Diigbo remarked.
“I also know that Lord Eric Avebury, late Anita Roddick (in spirit) and many other British leaders, citizens and NGOs who support nonviolence and corporate accountability continue to stand with the Ogoni people today after the Anglo Royal Dutch/ Shell and Nigerian Government totally destroyed our entire environment,” Diigbo further said.
Diigbo said Cameron should stop playing politics with human life and rethink the implications of bringing dirty politics into the United States court room.
Diigbo who is the President of the Partnership for Indigenous Peoples Environment (PIPE), a U.S. international organization operating in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); is also a U.S. citizen.