The people said they were piqued by what they referred to as irregularities by officials of the National Independent Power Project, NIPP, on land compensation activities, which is going on at the premises of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, in Owerri.
In a one-page communique issued at the end of their protest, under the auspices of Egbema Peoples Congress, EPC, they expressed worries that the team involved in the assessment of their land for compensation for the purposes of laying transmission lines were deducting 10 percent from their due payment as agency fee.
The document, which was signed by Hon. Osondu Chimaokwu and Chief Isreal Anene, the President and Secretary respectively, noted that there was no issuance of receipts to land owners to indicate the exact amount been paid and the denial of claims to land owners on the excuse that the lines were diverted.
It further stated that “the members of the above named organisation after a careful study of the on-going payment of the National Independent Power Project (NIPP) acquired Transmission line observed high mass fraud been perpetuated by the dam handling the payment.”
They vowed to stop at nothing in ensuring that through the relevant agencies to recover all shortfalls as they are willing to assist the less privileged people of Egbema to benefit from their natural resources.
An official of NIPP, speaking on telephone on condition of anonymity, dismissed the allegation, stressing that the people of the area nominated agents and gave hem legal backing to deal on their behalf.
According to him, they had agreed with their agents “to collect 10 percent in each transaction which we have to oblige because of the legal content of their agreement.”
– This Day