02 July 2015, Warri – Indigenes of Ugborodo in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, have asked a Federal High Court sitting in Warri, to restrain the Federal Government from naming the Deep Seaport in Ugborodo after Gbaramatu pending the determination of their suit.
Other defendants in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Delta State Government and Delta State Commissioner for Justice.
Plaintiffs in the suit, Chief Ayirimi Emami, Itse Elijah Wilkie, Mike Okoturo, Pastor Emiko Fregene and Samuel Pira, on behalf of Ugborodo community, are praying the court to declare that “The proposed naming of the Deep Seaport sited in Ugborodo land between Madangho and Ubefan, is wrongful, against public policy, unconstitutional, illegal and therefore null and void.”
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Chief E. Akpofure, SAN, is further praying the court to compel the defendants, “to remove the name Gbaramatu” from the nomenclature of the Deep Seaport project and to replace it with Ogidigben or after any of the communities in Ugborodoland in its Itsekiri name and not Gbaramatu.
The matter is before Justice Shittu Abubakar. At the hearing in the matter, yesterday, Chief Akpofure contended that the naming of the project does not affect its execution, hence the defendants cannot be said to be prejudiced.
According to him, naming of projects like Petroleum Training Institute after Warri before it was changed to Effurun and Delta Broadcasting Service, DBS, Edjeba, earlier named DBS Warri, caused unrest and as such the plaintiffs do not want renewed hostilities between the Ijaw and Itsekiri, hence the prayer for the order stoping the Deep Seaport from being named after Gbaramatu.
The court, meanwhile, gave the defendants five days to respond to the reliefs being sought by the plaintiffs and adjourned further hearing till July 7, 2015.