Lawsuits Target Energy Giants: Nigeria II — Bowoto v. Chevron

By Jennifer Huang | World Power I: Business & Law

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Conflict in Nigeria spawned another lawsuit, Bowoto v. Chevron, filed in San Francisco in July 2000 by a group of 25 Nigerians. In their complaint, the plaintiffs claim to be victims of machine gun attacks by the military against protesters on the Parabe oil platform in the Niger Delta, and later against the villages of Opia and Ikenyan from May 1998 to January 1999. The suit maintains that Chevron “did willfully, maliciously and systematically violate Plaintiff’s human rights, including summary execution, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” by ordering the attacks, transporting the soldiers in company-owned helicopters and boats, and providing them with salaries, ammunition and other tools. One of the named plaintiffs, Larry Bowoto, ran a small fishing and boating supply shop in Ogoniland, and joined in the protests on the Parabe oil platform in May 1998. Soldiers in three helicopters fired upon him and about 200 other demonstrators.