17 November 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, has announced that the ministry would soon commence investigation into the alleged misapplication funds, including the 13 percent derivation, accrued to oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region.
The Attorney General made the announcement on Thursday when Itsekiri Regional Development Council (IRDC) led by Ogbebor of Warri Kingdom, Chief Mrs. Lori Ogbebor paid him a Save Our Soul (SOS) visit in his office.
Malami, who frowned at the level of deprivation and the alleged fraud going on in the area, said he would order an immediate investigation and also ensure that all ongoing investigations about the payments and sharing of the accrued revenue to the affected communities are accorded due attention.
“We will receive your petition so that we can accord it the necessary attention. I can assure you that we will accord it all the necessary attention it deserves to unravel the circumstances surrounding the matter,” he added.
Earlier in her address, Mrs. Ogbebor, accused leaders of Itsekiri community and other oil producing areas of manipulating and sharing the oil revenue accrued to the people without recourse to the law.
She also alleged that the government had been depriving the oil communities their due in the revenue sharing formular through the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC) contrary to the law establishing the agency.
She therefore appealed to the AGF to intervene in the matter by instituting a judicial enquiry to unravel the alleged misappropriation of the funds meant for the development of the affected communities.
She also reminded the AGF of the ongoing investigation of the matter by the Nigerian Police Force and series of court actions she instituted on behalf of her people and appealed to the AGF to hasten the concerned government agencies to step up the matter in order to ensure justice is done to the people.
“We are all aware of the life threatening incidents of oil exploration in the Niger Delta for which I am one of the leaders who fought and still fighting. Against the evil that the oil exploration has brought to our people.
“I am ashamed and sorry to say today that some of these financial provisions have not been well utilized to the benefit of our people in the rural areas.
“Chevron and Shell have signed different memoranda with us in the Warri Kingdom. For years, some of our leaders have manipulated, taken and shared the money among themselves with impunity,” she alleged.
She added, “I have personally witnessed the deaths of young people whom I was called to celebrate the day they were born. These men are callous and have no pity for their fellow human beings.
“I have spoken to them and for years they have gone from better to worse. In the last one year, I have decided to fight back by calling on the different agencies of anti-corruption to investigate and bring these people to book and in many cases, corruption have fought back.”
She lamented further that one of the cases was still hanging, which involves the investigation of Itsekiri Regional Development Council (IRDC) in which the police had been able to discover and freeze seven accounts with N2.1 billion and wondered why the matter was still inconclusive, one year after.
According to her, DESOPADEC is most guilty, given that it collects 50 to 100 million naira monthly from the oil companies on behalf of the oil communities. She explained that the Delta State government does not even pay the 50 percent which its own law stipulates.
“We have come to ask you to ask the Delta State government to start giving DESOPADEC at least 50 percent of the proceeds accrued to them from the oil revenue, which its own state law stipulates,” she pleaded.
She insisted that the 13 percent derivation is meant to bring development of schools, clinics, hospitals, transportation and create jobs for the people in the rural areas and not for some powerful individuals in the government.
“Sir, our people are dying and this is more than genocide. This evil is within us and among us. There is now a need for Federal government to intervene. The people cannot fight for themselves anymore because they are poor and weak.
“The people are powerless against the Delta State government. Stop individuals from building empires for themselves,” she noted.
DESOPADEC is the 13 percent derivation which the Federal Government created to take care of the oil producing areas.