Obiozo Ukpabi is a PhD candidate with the University of Humanistic Studies (UvH). She studied Economic and Social History (MA), including Oral History. Her research in completion of an additional master’s degree (MPhil, with distinction) explored theories of greed vs grievance for understanding the role of militant groups in petro-politics and –violence in the Niger Delta. Obiozo has also worked as dialogue facilitator with Building Conversation, platform for Dialogical Art, with which she remains affiliated. 


In the Dialogics of Justice project, Obiozo studies claims for justice brought against transnational oil and gas company Shell by (former) residents of the Niger Delta whose lives and livelihoods have been affected by massive environmental degradation and human rights violations. Specifically, she examines how legal action, brought to a Dutch civil court in collaboration with transnational advocacy networks, opens up and may also narrow space for securing meaningful redress. She aims to shed light on the ways in which recognition and repair are experienced and given meaning by those involved in these claims, as part of and resulting from judicial and nonjudicial processes. Exploring critical questions of representation and voice across local-global intersections in a post-colonial context, Obiozo’s approach is informed by her experience facilitating policy dialogue on land rights and structural inequality in South Africa, and (with peace organisation Pax) supporting the work of democracy and peace activists in a range of countries including South Sudan and Syria. 




Livecast on society vs. fossil energy with Obiozo Ukpabi

25/03/2021 Obiozo Ukpabi participated in a panel discussion hosted by Pakhuis de Zwijger on the growing number of (legal) confrontations between citizens and NGOs on the one hand, and fossil fuel corporations on the other. Link: Maatschappij vs. fossiel – Pakhuis de Zwijger

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Opinion piece on the legal judgement against Shell by Obiozo Ukpabi

11/02/2021 Opinion piece from Obiozo Ukpabi in the Dutch newspaper NRC. Obiozo wrote an opinion piece on the meaning and limitations of the ruling of the Dutch court in the civil court case against the multinational Royal Dutch Shell. She argued the legal framework provides limited possibility to address the actual problem those affected by…

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Truth be told. Listening for stories in the courtroom

Obiozo Ukpabi. In October 2020, a remarkable case was heard in a civil court of Higher Appeal in The Hague. Four Nigerian farmers and fishers[1], who together with Dutch NGO Milieudefensie filed a lawsuit to hold Royal Dutch Shell accountable for massive environmental pollution caused by oil spills in their…

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