Group Petitions US Anti-graft Agency Over Alleged Fraudulent Dealings Between Chevron And Delta Officials

BEVERLY HILLS, January 12, (THEWILL) – A group which goes by the name: Concerned Itsekiri Coastal Dwellers Association, CICDA, has petitioned the United States, US Department of Justice, Criminal Division over alleged fraudulent and corrupt practices by some Delta state government officials with Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL.

In a petition addressed to the US agency, which is the equivalent of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the group alleged that Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FCPA of 1977 in its dealings with the officials of Delta State government, regarding the making of payments and offer of job slots.

A copy of this petition was made available to THEWILL yesterday.

The group, which said they represents the cluster of communities of Itsekiri ethnic extraction in Warri North and Warri South-West Local Government Areas of Delta State, alleged that since the receipt of money from CNL, the government officials have been using government forces to harass, intimidate and coerce the indigenes of the communities in which Chevron operates with flagrant disregard for human rights and security.

The petition, which was signed by the Chairman of CICDA, Mr. Rexlly Ede and its Secretary General, Mr. Johnbull Odinma, accused the Chairman of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Mr. Godwin Ebosa, the Vice Chairman of Delta State Government Waterways Security Committee, Mr. Mode David Akoma, the member representing Itsekiri ethnic nationality in DESOPADEC, Mr. Thomas Ereyitomi and the member of House of Assembly representing Warri North Constituency, Mr Michael Diden of fraudulently and corruptly receiving monies from Chevron Nigeria Limited to the detriment of people of the areas.

CICDA stated that the FCPA act prohibits the willful use of mails or any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce to induce any foreign official to influence the foreign official in his or her official capacity so as to secure improper advantage in order to assist in obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to any person.

“In December 2015 Chevron Nigeria Limited offered to give some job slots to the above government officials pursuant to which document was issued and signed.

“Some of such jobs include the Development of SONAM FIELD Project /West African Ventures job (WAV), Chevron Nigeria Limited Offshore drilling rig project and Offshore Catering Services Contract”, CICDA said in its petition.

THEWILL was told by the petitioners that over N15million was sometime in 2011 paid by Chevron company into a Union Bank G&A account 0036024235 belonging to one Mr. David Tonwe, chairman Concerned Itsekiri Coastal Dwellers, Warri, to the benefit of the above mentioned government officials.

CICDA however warned that should the US agency refused to address its petition, they might be constrained to do the needful, saying that the petition had already been mailed to the US Department of Justice.

Meanwhile, efforts to reach the above mentioned government officials proved abortive as at the time of filing this report.

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