By Ezekiel Kagbala
*WANTS EFCC TO INVESTIGATE ODIDI COMMUNITY CHAIRMAN*
The Delta State branch of the Committee For Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has called on the Nigerian Federal Government to revoke the operational license of NECONDE Energy Ltd, operators of OML 42, in Odidi community, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
The rights body, has also filled a petition to the federal government through the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, over what it described as ‘divide and rule’ conduct of NECONDE management to cause disunity and confusion in the community by recognising and dealing with few interest group against the general wellbeing of the people.
Meanwhile the CDHR has called on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC to Investigate Chief Johnny Arigbogha, chairman of the oil rich Odidi, community for diverting community funds to his businesses private bank account.
Though Chief Johnny Arigbogha was petitioned before the Inspector general of police, Ibrahim Idris, over embroilment of community funds , using his personal account to manage community funds, he refused to honor invitation by IG of police before he instituted a court action seeking to deprive the police from acting on the petition against him.
The CDHR Delta State branch wants calling on the EFCC to investigate and arrest Arigbogha so that he does not drag the court into concealing misdeeds.
As at press time it was gathered that the process of employment by the company is shrouded in secrecy for few elders and community executive members to hijack the process, thereby allowing provisions for ghost workers slots that are often being shared between community and company representatives at the detriment of jobless able bodied youths who are mostly graduates.
CDHR in a copy of the petition signed by itscommunity, Dr. Prince Kehinde Taiga, and made available to newsmen in Warri, on Friday, urged the Minister of Petroleum Resources to, as matter of urgency, call for the review of the employment processes and contract awards that were fraudulently issued by the company to pacify few individuals.
The body also called called on Federal government to urgently revoke the operational licence revoke NECONDE over the arbitrary use of military forces to silence indigenes from protesting whenever they are aggrieved with certain policies being introduced by the company.
The Delta State CDHR boss Dr. Kehinde Taiga said “The Minister of Petroleum Resources and the federal government should address the company’s conspiracy with selected group in the community to put an end to the senseless oppression while dealing with the people”.
“The community in question cannot boost of any developmental project since 2013 when NECONDE Energy took over the asset of OML 42. Majority of the indigenes were crying out of marginalisation, the management resorted to pacifying the leaders and community executives with juicy contracts and financial rewards to keep them quiet”. He insisted Neconde Energy should provide information on employment they have done so far.
However, Chief Johnny Arigbogha who reacted to the allegations brought against him by CDHR said that he is fully aware of the petitions against him, also stating that he was invited by men of Nigeria Police, State Anti Robbery Squad, (SAS). He decided to seek legal approach for the sake of his personal safety, he said “The matter is in court, I resorted to legal approach in handling the matter because SAS asked me to come to a place called ‘Abattior’ I don’t trust such place for my safety hence I seek court injunction to stop SARS from inviting me”.
Chief Arigbogha also informed our news men that all job slots allocated for Odidi community is fairly rotated between members of the community, no one is shortchanged.
Arigbogha also disclosed to our reporters that the use of his private account to handle the community funds is an unanimous decision reached between him and executives of the community. He added that there is arrangement to have a community account from January. 2019.
Every efforts to reach the management of NECONDE Energy Company proved abortive as the representatives of the company declined comments.