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4 Aug 2005

David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle

Chevron paid Nigerian troops after alleged killings - Villagers in lawsuit say 4 people died -- oil company questions if attacks took place

Nigerian soldiers guarding Chevron oil rigs billed the company for $109.25 a day after they allegedly attacked two villages in the volatile country, killing four people and setting fire to homes. The company paid...To the villagers' lawyers, the invoice shows Chevron knew of the attacks and should be held accountable for them...The company disagrees. Chevron spokesman Charles Stewart said the company is not convinced that the attacks detailed by witnesses in the lawsuit even occurred. Chevron acknowledges it paid the soldiers but considers it as one of the regular payments it makes to soldiers guarding its facilities in a part of Nigeria known for piracy and ethnic combat..."What we're saying is, to the extent that there were any attacks -- because there's a lot of disagreement on this -- no Chevron Nigeria personnel were present or authorized any such attack," Stewart said.

Part of the following timelines

Lawyers for Nigerian villagers say documents show Chevron paid Nigerian soldiers who attacked the villages in 1999, killing several people -- Chevron responds

Chevron lawsuit (re Nigeria)