08 May 2013, Warri – The Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, has admitted that Warri Club, Warri, which it rehabilitated with funds meant for the development of oil producing communities, was a private recreational club.
Chief Legal Officer of the Commission, Mr. Gabriel Eyewuoma, made the admission when he was cross-examined in a N1 billion suit against DESOPADEC by Itsekiri chapter of Host Communities of Oil and Gas Producing Communities of Nigeria, HOSTCOM.
He also admitted that DESOPADEC did not receive any letter from the Federal Government soliciting for assistance before it embarked on the renovation of the Nigeria Police Barracks, ‘A’ Division, Warri.
He, however, said that all projects executed by DESOPADEC were published in the Commission’s monthly magazine as it concerned the various ethnic groups.
Asked if DESOPADEC had earlier refuted the publication of the project executed in a news magazine, he said no.
He said he was aware that security personnel guard Warri Club, and a non-member would not enter the club because the recreational centre was strictly for members.
Itsekiri host communities, led by their chairman, Prince Ikenwoli Emiko, are aggrieved that the money meant for the Itsekiri oil communities were diverted by the Commission to renovate Warri Club and Police Barracks, which are private and Federal Government concerns.
They contended that the plaintiffs were plagued by coastal erosion, oil pollution, spillages and other ecological and environmental challenges.
The oil communities want the court to order the commission to account for all monies expended on such illegal projects and pay N100 million for compensation and damages to the plaintiffs.
Trial judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro, adjourned further hearing till May 17.