Nigeria: Leadership Tussle Threatens Oil Company's Operations in Delta Communities

7 June 2021

Warri — The leadership crisis rocking seven host communities of the OML 150 is now threatening the operations of Conoil Producing Limited, operating the flow station in Delta State.

THISDAY gathered that the Chairman of Communities Consultative committee headed by Mr. Charles Omadeli's tenure expired in December 2020, with a new executive led by Monday Agbeyi put in place and have been claiming leadership of the committee leaving Conoil confused as to which to deal with as the representatives of the host communities.

The crisis however took a new dimension as the seven host communities, which make up the OML 150 field, petitioned Conoil Limited not to have anything to do with either of the two executives claiming leadership of the committee put in place to represent their interest with the company.

In a petition, dated May 31, 2021, a copy made available to THISDAY, and titled, "A call on Conoil Producing Limited to forthwith desist from dealing or further dealing with illegal and self-acclaimed representatives of the OML 150 communities' consultative committee, the indigenes warned the oil company of dire consequences should it fail to heed their warnings.

The petition, written by their counsel, Felix Owumi and addressed to the Managing Director of Conoil Producing Limited read: "We are solicitors to the concerned indigenes of OML-150 Communities and we write to you at their behest. Our clients are indigenes of the seven host communities which make up the OML 150 field, wherein your company carries out its oil mining operations.

"Our clients' attention has been drawn to the activities of Charles Omadeli and Monday Agbeyi both of whom has been parading themselves as factional chairmen of the OML 150 communities' consultative committee.

"It is worthy to note that both Charles Omadeli and Monday Agbeyi-led committees are illegally constituted. They neither have the authorisation of the Olu of Warri, nor the mandate of the good people of the OML 150 communities, and/or represent their collective interest.

"Consequently, the committees are bereft of any statutory authority /capacity to represent the OML 150 host communities, and to enter into any dealings whatsoever with your company on behalf of the host communities," it stated.

The host communities indigenes recalled that all disputes relating to the leadership of the OML 150 communities consultative committee were yet unresolved, adding that no faction has been anointed or duly recognised as the authentic leadership of the committee by the appropriate authority.

They further warned, "Your company is therefore admonished to disregard the claim by both factions as the anointed or authentic committee recognised by the Regent of Warri Kingdom.

"Contrary to the above claim, the Regent of Warri Kingdom has warned the Charles Omadeli and Monday Agbeyi-led factions to steer clear of all activities related to and/or concerning the OML 150 field pending amicable resolution of all attendant issues thereto by the appropriate authority," it added.

The host communities therefore warned Conoil Producing Limited to desist from dealing and/or further dealing with the "illegally constituted Charles Omadeli and Monday Agbeyi's committees, whom are unlawfully parading themselves as factional chairmen of the OML-150 Communities Consultative Committee."

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