The aim of the Commission is to develop a set of informed recommendations that lead to the development of a new legal framework that ensures accountability and an action plan for implementation to ensure a healthy environment by ensuring appropriate clean-up and remediation of impacted sites, and that host communities receive sufficient compensation for the impacts of environmental pollution and degradation, and reap the benefits from the production of oil within their communities.

The Commission will achieve this by:


Investigating the environmental and human damage caused by the operations of the multinational oil companies, specifically as a result of oil spills, in Bayelsa State.


Analysing the existing legislation governing the operations of the multinational oil companies, undertake comparative analysis with legislation governing the operations of multinational oil companies in other territories, and assess the suitability of the existing Nigerian legislation for holding multinational oil companies to account for their activities.

The Chairman

Dr John Sentamu Archbishop of York

Dr. John Sentamu graduated in law from Makerere University, Kampala and is an Advocate of the High Court of Uganda. He practiced Law both at the Bar and at the Bench before he came to the UK in 1974. He read theology at Selwyn College Cambridge where he gained a Masters Degree and a Doctorate.

He was appointed Bishop for Stepney in 1996, Bishop for Birmingham in 2002 and Archbishop of York in 2005. He is Primate of England and Metropolitan, a member of the House of Lords and a Privy Councillor.

From 1997 to 1999, Dr Sentamu was Adviser to the Stephen Lawrence Judicial Inquiry and he chaired the Damilola Taylor Murder Review in 2002. He chaired the NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening Programme from 2001 to November 2013. He supported and advised workers affected by the closure of the Rover car plant in Birmingham and campaigned against guns, knives, drugs and gangs throughout the Midlands.

Between 2002 and 2004 he was Chairman of the EC1 New Deal. He became President of Youth for Christ in 2004 and President of the YMCA in April 2005. In 2009, the Archbishop set up his Youth Trust and also launched his online charity Acts435 – for anyone who has need. In 2013, Dr. Sentamu, chaired an independent Commission on the future of the Living Wage; this followed from his work as Sponsor of the Fairness Commission in York.

Dr. Sentamu will retire from his post as Archbishop of York on 7 June 2020.

The Commission

Meet the full team

About the Commission