Delta Community petitions EFCC over alleged N12.3bn  fraud by Lebanese company

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State

A cloud of uncertainty and  palpable crisis has enveloped Ugboroko community, Warri Southwest Local Government Area of Delta State over threats by the community to ensure that a service provider company it recommended to Chevron Nig. limited develops the community and compensate it.

The community claimed that it introduced and nominated JAD Nig. Ltd, owned by a Lebanese national, to conduct business with oil giant, Chevron Nig. Ltd operations in Escravos.

According to the community, JAD Nig. Ltd during the Escravos Gas Project got contracts for the feeding of 13,000 people, Escriva’s Tank Farm, Labour and equipment supply contracts.

Following the alleged refusal of the company to contribute to the development of the community and pay it the agreed entitlement, its leaders have dragged the company to the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) urging the antigraft body to help it in retrieving  N12.31 billion from JAD Group, an oil service provider company.

In a petition signed by three representatives of the community, under the aegis of Ugborodo Community Leaders/Stakeholders, they alleged that the services provider company, through alleged underhand tactics and connivance from some community elements, denied the community its legitimate proceeds of contracts meant for it (the community).

According to the petition signed by Pastor Benson Babine, Mr. James Debbi Kaka, and Prince D.O. Omunu, the community alleged that it appointed one of JAD Group’s company, JAD Catering Services Limited to represent it in contract execution in respect of projects given to it by one of its tenant major oil company, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL).

The companies, owned by a Lebanese businessman, Jaffal Mohammed Rydah, were said to have been introduced and nominated for business in Chevron operations in Escravos by Ugborodo community for catering services contract during the Escravos Gas Project construction, where it was feeding more than 13,000 people and later in the Chevron Escravos Tank Farm.

The petitioners alleged that labour and equipment supply contracts were later, over the years, added to the representative portfolio of the company by the managers of the community on the basis of which all equipment contracts such as pick up vans, forklifts, trailers, barges, houseboats, cranes, and other forms of equipment, that Ugborodo indigenous contractors could not handle were given to JAD Companies to supply.

However, the petitioners claimed that the company had been defaulting in remitting to the community its share of the profits from the contracts, which according to them was agreed to be 30 percent to the community purse, 10 percent to those who promoted the company to becoming sole contractor on behalf of the community and 60 percent to JAD Group.

According to the petition, in allegedly defaulting to remit to the community with regards to proceeds from an equipment supply contract, which started in July 2016, JAD Group had been owing as much as N12,309,230,000, an amount it claimed would go a long way in salvaging some of the environmental misfortunes its people had lived with over the years.

“After the execution of this MoU and the contract was going on and appropriate payments were not coming to Ugborodo community, Pa Sandys Omadeli-Uvwoh (of blessed memory), one of the ‘promoters’ of the negotiations, who became aware of these inglorious and fraudulent activities of the JAD Group, issued a letter dated 21st January to the Managing Director of JAD Construction Ltd…

“JAD Group, again, through intrigues, scheming and collaboration, sponsored protests in which some Ugborodo people, unfortunately, lost lives, but was able to whip up sentiments to become Ugborodo community sole nominated contractor.

“The leadership of Ugborodo Community Trust keyed into this sentiment and thus recommended and nominated JAD Group and sole contractors for equipment supplies.

“From our modest calculations, what JAD Group is owing and should pay Ugborodo in naira for Jack-up barges (SEWOPS) contract with CNL, using N305 to the dollar and naira, for other equipment in Chevron Terminal and EGTL operations amount to more than N12,309,230,000.00 (twelve billion, three hundred and nine million, two hundred and thirty thousand naira).

“This huge sum of money would drive the developmental needs of the Ugborodo community, particularly in the areas of erosion, flood control, and shore protection, which are critical challenges seriously confronting the community.

“From the commencement of oil exploration and exploitation by Gulf Oil Coy Nig. Ltd, now Chevron Nig Ltd and the other oil companies in the last fifty (50) years, Ugborodo community has lost more than 200 meters of the land on its shoreline

“The community is facing extinction to which governments are not paying much attention, but with our funds in the possession of the JAD Group through the opportunity created by NAPIMS (NNPC), the community is willing and ready to carry out the all-important shore protection project by itself”, the petition read in part.”

Contacted last Wednesday for comments on the development, JAD General Manager, Radi Sadek declined to speak on the issue but directed Justice Mokwenyi, Spokesperson for the company to speak with Exclusive Big Story .com.

Mokweyi confirmed that JAD Nig. Ltd. had been dragged before the antigraft agency stressing that the company had responded to their petition at the EFCC.

He said about three persons in Ugborodo are the ones instigating the petition adding that; “these are blackmailers”.

Chief Tomas Ereyitomi, former Chairman of Ugborodo Community Association and Member representing the community at the House of Representatives did not pick his calls. He also did not reply to the SMS sent to his number.

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