It all began by chance. Fisayo Soyombo, an investigative journalist, foundwig store custom wigs cheap nfl jerseys nike air jordan high tops jordan sale best sex toy for women cheap nfl jerseys custom hockey jerseys nike air max plus custom nfl jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap wig silicone ass sex toy jordan 3 fire red himself in Port Harcourt on November 8, 2022, tracking a case at the Rivers State High Court. In search of Hon Justice Enebeli J’s Court 8, he was inadvertently directed to Hon. Justice Elsie Nwanwuri Thompson’s Court 7. There, he witnessed a striking contrast between the relaxed demeanor of the defense counsel representing Shell, a major oil company, and the frustrated efforts of the claimant’s counsel to convince the judge to proceed with the trial instead of settling out of court. Intrigued by the situation, Soyombo began to dig deeper, reading previous lackluster publications on the matter and reaching out to his contacts. It didn’t take long for him to locate the couple involved in the case, who happened to be employees of the oil company. Despite initial reluctance, the couple eventually trusted Soyombo and, in March 2023, they finally shared their story with him. Six months had passed since the first contact, with no progress made on the much-touted out-of-court settlement.
The ordeal began in September 2016 when Stella and Emeka Okoli agreed to have their 10-year-old son, Chinazam, undergo a supposedly simple appendectomy surgery at the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Industrial Area Clinic in Port Harcourt. The surgeon assured them it would be a straightforward procedure, and Chinazam would be discharged within four days. However, the surgery turned into a nightmare. Stella had taken Chinazam to the clinic earlier, but the physician had deemed him fine. On September 2, when Chinazam complained of stomach pain again, they rushed back to the clinic. The doctor this time referred them to a surgeon who, upon examination, expressed shock at the extent of the appendix inflammation. Urgently, the surgeon decided to proceed with the operation.
Stella and Emeka, working at the Shell office in the same complex, were called to the clinic. Despite reservations about conducting surgery on a Friday, they were convinced it was an emergency. The surgeon warned them that if they chose not to proceed with the operation, they had to sign a document absolving the hospital of responsibility. Expecting a quick procedure, they left and returned a little over an hour later. However, they were left waiting in the visitors’ lobby for five hours without any updates. Eventually, they confronted the anesthetist, who unintentionally revealed that something had gone wrong during the surgery.
Disturbed by this revelation, Stella confronted the doctor, and Emeka sought to see his son. The surgeon assured them that Chinazam had a drug reaction but was now fine. When Stella saw her son, she believed he was dead until the doctor informed her otherwise. Chinazam was then transferred to the Intensive Care Unit while the parents anxiously observed, and doctors exchanged whispers.
Chinazam slipped into a medical coma, unbeknownst to Stella until the third day after the surgery when he showed no signs of improvement. During his hospitalization at the Shell IA Clinic ICU, Emeka pleaded for his son to be flown to a trauma center in Europe or the Americas, but Shell insisted on keeping him there. When he was eventually moved abroad via an air ambulance, it was to South Africa, despite Emeka’s pleas for him to be taken to a more specialized facility.
The negligence continued as Shell displayed a lack of concern for Chinazam’s well-being. Months passed without any visit from Shell representatives to assess his condition or the quality of care he was receiving. When his parents raised concerns about the inadequacy of certain essential services in South Africa, Shell dismissed them. It wasn’t until much later that Shell
The Okoli family’s experience with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has had a profound impact on their lives. Chinazam Okoli, their 10-year-old son, suffered brain damage following a surgery at the SPDC Industrial Area Clinic in Port Harcourt. Chinazam lost his ability to speak and has experienced significant physical and cognitive challenges since the surgery.
His family, including his parents Stella and Emeka and his sisters Deborah and Salome, have been devastated by the ordeal. They remember Chinazam as an energetic, loving, and talented young boy who brought joy to their lives. His condition has changed their family dynamics, leaving a void of silence in their home.
Despite the challenges, the Okoli family remains determined to fight for Chinazam’s dignity and a chance at recovery. They reject the suggestion of letting him go and are committed to exploring all possibilities for his treatment and rehabilitation. Emeka, Chinazam’s father, expresses his belief in the advancement of science and hopes for a future cure. He even considers pursuing a Ph.D. in Translational Neuroscience to personally contribute to finding a cure if necessary.
When approached for comments, Shell initially appeared willing to engage with the journalist but later declined to comment, citing ongoing litigation as the reason. Their response carried a veiled threat of interfering with the administration of justice if information is made public. The journalist also highlights the lack of accountability and empathy displayed by Shell and its employees, including doctors and lawyers involved in the case.
This is not the first time Shell Nigeria has faced accusations of medical negligence and subsequent rights violations. The Okoli family’s case echoes previous instances where Shell’s medical facilities have been accused of negligence and inadequate response to patients’ needs.
The Okoli family seeks two main outcomes from Shell: the release of the Desalu Report, which likely contains information pertinent to Chinazam’s case, and the establishment of a lifecare plan for Chinazam’s ongoing medical needs. They are not interested in monetary compensation but want Shell to cover their legal fees and provide the necessary support for Chinazam’s care.
The Okolis’ wishes are in conflict with Shell’s desire to disassociate from Chinazam and settle the matter by paying off the family. The family’s determination to seek justice and ensure their son’s dignity is a testament to their resilience and love for Chinazam.
The investigation was supported by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development Inclusivity and Accountability project (CMEDIA), funded by the MacArthur Foundation. The work of independent, public-interest journalism is crucial in holding power accountable and preserving the right to information.
I can confirm that @Shell has reported my account to Twitter over my #HellInShell tweet of yesterday about medical negligence at a @Shell_Nigeria clinic and Shell’s refusal to adopt the lifecare plan for the victim.
If you stop hearing from this account, you already know why.
— ‘Fisayo Soyombo (@fisayosoyombo) May 16, 2023