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Sunday, July 24, 2016

SHOCKING: House Of Reps Threatens Warrant On Shell's MD

The Federal House Of Representatives through its House Committee on Public Petition has threatened to issue a warrant   on the Managing Director of SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY[SPDC] Mr Osagie Okunbor
This followed the refusal of the company to honour invitation by the Committee On public Petitions of the House Of Representatives on three ocassions.
During the Committee sitting, the Chairman of the House of Representatives On Public Petitions Hon. Nkem Ozoma expressed dismay over the non-appearance of SHELL at the committee's sitting on two occasions after the company was given prior notices.

This is clearly in  pursuant  Section 89[1][d] of the 1999 Constitution [as amended]-states that "for the purpose of any investigation under section 88 of this constitution and subject to the provision thereof,the senate or House of Representatives or a committee appointed in accordance with section 62 of this constitution shall-have power to issue warrant  to  any person to compel the attendance of person who after having been summoned to attend,fails,refuses or neglects to do so and does not excuse such failure,refusal or neglect to the satisfaction of the House or the committee in question………''

This is a reminder that nobody is above the law and we are responsible for our action or inaction.  
It could be recalled that the Akepilai Community in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State had petitioned SHELL over the Company's refusal to honour Memorandum of understanding [MOU] entered into with the community since 2002.
Under the MOU, SHELL accepted to provide pipe borne water and electrification of Akepilai Community but flauted the agreement to provide pipe borne water project fourteen years after.
The community had written series of petition to the Bayelsa State Government through its Ministry of Environment but SHELL in its usual way ignored effort by the state Government for amicable settlement of the issue.

This development compelled the Community to further petition SHELL at the NATIONAL ASSEMBY Abuja but SHELL again dishonoured three invitations by the House to resolve the dispute, a situation which necessitated the chairman of the House Representatives Committee On Public Petition, Hon. Nkem Uzoma threaten to issue Warrant of  On the Managing Director  of SHELL Mr Osagie Okunbor.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Community Development Committee of Akipelai Community Mr Nelson Adaka has expressed disgust over the attitude of SHELL on the matter and has threatened to further the case until justice is done.
In the same vein, the IMIRINGI,OTUASEGA,ORUMA $ ELEBELE YOUTHS UNION had also through its president, Mr Igbila Sunday and Secretary, Mr Philip Geoffrey  petitioned the National Assembly over the Blockage Of The Kolo Creek River In Ogbia Federal Constituency by  NESTOIL PLC who are contractors to SHELL.

When the matter was called for second hearing at the committee's sitting after failing to honour invitations twice, SHELL merely wrote a letter to the committee claiming not to have knowledge of the allegation by the youth organisation.This angered the chairman of the committee, Hon. Ozoma to threaten a warrant on the SHELL's MD.   
These operational lapses and divide and rule system by SPDC has multiplier effect on the socio-economic lives of its host communities.
For instance, the refusal of SPDC to respect MOU in providing Pipe borne water to Akipelai Community has exposed the community to epidemic which has claimed several lives.

Again, if urgent steps are not taken youths could take advantage of the scenario to disrupt the activities of SHELL in the Area. This is because this inaction of SPDC is major factor traceable to youth restiveness. The case of the Avengers  Of The Niger Delta is classical example.  

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