HEDA WRITES HUMAN WRITE COMMISSION OVER BREACH OF RIGHTS IN DELTA COMMUNITIES.

14th May, 2013.

The Chairman,
National Human Rights Commission
Aguiyi Ironsi Street,
Abuja.

Dear Sir,

COMMUNICATION ON THE NEED TO INVESTIGATE BREACH OF RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT OF DELTA STATE COMMUNITIES INVOLVING MINISTER OF PETROLEUM, DIEZANI ALISON-MADUEKE

HUMAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEVELOPMENT AGENDA(HEDA) a registered non-governmental organization(NGO) set up for the purpose of educating the public on human rights , the rule of law, transparency, accountability and good governance amongst others.

On April 26, 2013, sunnewsonline.com reported under the caption “Minister named in N59tr Oil deal” that five oil producing communities in Delta State and their leaders namely Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality (led by Chief Emami Ayiri), Ijaw Ethnic Nationality (led by Chief Aribogha Johnny) Urhobo Ethnic Nationality (Olorogun Jaro Egbo), Isoko Ethnic Nationality (Zino Onaemor) and Ndokwa Ethnic Nationality (Emmanuel Orwti) shut down the National Assembly over allegations that the Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) limited were involved in a N58.9 trillion shady oil.

The communities accused the minister of having secretly transferred production rights in four large oil blocks (OMLs 26, 30, 34, and 42) to Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited (Atlantic Energy) allegedly owned by one Mr. Jide Omokore. According to the report, Mr. Jide Omokore’s Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited neither tendered for, nor bided for the blocks. The petition alleged that on the above named OML, the minister entertained no bid under the guise of a “Strategic Alliance Agreement” that earned the federation account a little more than $50million as initial entrance fee from Atlantic energy. The petition further added that if the open and competitive bidding process mandated by Public Procurement Act had been followed, the market value of the OML 30 assets divested to Atlantic Energy should not be any less than $800million.
The oil industry especially the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has been plagued for years with accusations of corruption and fraudulent dealings. This has led to misappropriation of revenue earned from oil production, consequently leading to under development and wide spread poverty in the nation, not to mention injustice to the indigenes of the Niger Delta. The state over time failed to ensure the exercise of the right to development of the communities in the Niger-delta which has led to such consequences evidenced in the rise of militancy in the region to which the government has lost billions of naira in revenue. The duty to ensure exercise of the right to development is one given to the state by virtue of Article 22(2) of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights to which Nigeria is a party.

Such flagrant abuse of rights cannot be allowed to persist in our nation. In view of this development, we hereby invite the National Human Rights Commission to exercise its powers granted under Section 5(a) of the National Human Rights Commission (Amendment) Act of 2010 (which provides that “The commission shall deal with all matters relating to the promotion and protection guaranteed by …………………the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and other international and regional instruments on human rights to which Nigeria is a party.”) to investigate these allegations and make appropriate recommendation(s) to the Federal government for the revocation, prosecution and such other actions as it may deem expedient in the circumstances.

We look forward to your swift response to this matter.

Sincerely,

Olanrewaju Suraju
Chairman

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