The Board of Trustees of the Environmental Rights Development Foundation, ERDF, has announced the appointment of Chima Williams (Esq) as Acting Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action / Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA / FoEN, following the retirement of the Executive of Godwin Uyi Ojo. Counseling effective October 3.
The Board made the decision at an emergency meeting held on October 3. Chima William’s appointment takes effect on October 5.
In a statement, ERDF Board Chairman Nnimmo Bassey said: “The Board appreciates the work the former CEO did while with the organization and wishes him the best in his future endeavors.
“We remain hopeful and excited for the next chapter of ERA / FoEN.”
In a statement by Akinbode Oluwafemi, Secretary of the ERDF Board, it was noted that, until his appointment, Chima Williams was Head of Legal Resources / Outreach for Democracy at ERA / FoEN.
He is an accomplished advocate for policy and legislative change who believes in environmental and human rights standards that can be enforced globally by all business operators to ensure respect for the human and environmental rights of local communities.
Williams, a lawyer, is Chairman of the Green Alliance Nigeria and is in his second term as a member of the editorial board of the Business and Human Rights Journal published by Cambridge University Press, London.
He is Focal Person in the Country and Regional President of the Publicity Committee of the Lawyers of Public Interest Initiative for West Africa, among other positions he holds.
Williams has used campaigning, advocacy, mobilization, political and legislative interventions and litigation at the national and transnational spheres to help protect the rights of citizens, especially against the destructive practices of the extractive industry.
He was the Nigerian lawyer for the Kingdom of Ikebiri in their case against the multinational oil company ENI / NAOC in Milan, Italy, where the King of the Ikebiri Community is suing NAOC-ENI for an environmental disaster in his community.
The case was settled out of court and the people of Ikebiri made huge profits from the company.
He is currently involved in monitoring the implementation of a Complaint Process of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, after the successful outcome of the Egbema Voice of Freedom & 2 Others Vs. ENI / NAOC complaint in Aggah Community of Rivers State.
This process involves eliminating perennial flood events that have devastated the community for more than 40 years.
He is the principal partner of CHIMA WILLIAMS & ASSOCIATES, a Nigerian law firm.
He is a lawyer and advocate for the Nigerian Supreme Court with over 19 years of litigation experience in the areas of human / environmental rights, protection / defense of livelihoods, land rights, property rights, criminal and civil litigation.