WARRI: The long awaited court case between Oil and Gas Producing Communities of Delta State led by renowned human and development advocate, Comrade Mulade Sheriff has began today, he again reiterated the reason he and his people are dragging the two former Governors, Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, DESOPADEC and Attorney General of the State to High Court, Warri for the interpretation of Section 162 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 13 (1) of the DESOPADEC Law 2006 (as amended) 2007, 2015 and 2018 respectively, and to account for over N1.8 trillion Naira of 13% oil derivation funds to oil producing communities of Delta State.
The peace ambassador disclosed this during the court section today 4th July, 2023 at High Court, Warri when representatives of Itsekiri, Ndokwa and Isoko Ethnic Nationalities filed to join the suit seeking interpretation and accountability of 50% of 13% oil derivation fund to Delta State under former Governors, Dr Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan and Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa.
It would be recalled that the Delta State-born Environmentalist, Comrade Mulade Sheriff recently mobilized oil and gas producing communities in the State to Headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja, imploring the commission to investigate and recover their missing and misappropriated funds back to DESOPADEC to enable the state commission carry out developmental projects in the host communities.
He stated that the immediate past commissioner for information, Mr Charles Aniagwu confirmed to Arise TV that former Governor Okowa remitted only N208billion against 538,725,142,776.085,” which means that over 330bn Naira oil and gas producing Communities of Delta State is missing, therefore we demand accountability”.
While responding to questions from journalists, the former chairman of oil rich Kokodiagbene Community in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West LGA of the State, Comrade Mulade Sheriff asserted that; “We are not going to be distracted by hired political sycophancy, who are trying to bring political coloration and other primordial sentiments to instigate the gullible public to undermine the genuine demands to know how our resources are being spent. We are for accountability and transparency and we are prepared to use our last drop of blood to fight for a better deal for our suffering people who are supposed to be enjoying the funds from their natural resources”.
“It is worthy of note that what we are fighting for is to recover our missing funds and equally free the state from the claws of the immediate past Governor Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa to enable our amiable Governor, His Excellency, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori administration to be independent and deliver on his electoral mandate and promises to Deltans through his M.O.R.E Agenda”, he added.
He also said that; “It is unfortunate to state that based on available records, our dynamic Governor Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori met an empty treasury and some of the Delta State Accounts have less than a billion naira which has forced the state government to borrow huge sum of money inj less than one month in office under the guise of settling local government pensioners in the state”.
However, the court as adjoined till 24th October, 2023.