The Ekperinwa Royal House of Opuoma autonomous community in Ohaji/Egbema local government area of Imo State, has dragged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) before President Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the commission’s refusal to pay compensation for it’s properties that were destroyed in 2010.
The family, in a letter addressed to the President and dated June 13, 2023, a copy of which was made available to LEADERSHIP Sunday in Port Harcourt, said the properties, located on Akpata land in Umu Iyasara Attah axis of the community, were destroyed to facilitate NDDC’s multi-billion reclamation and shore protection project in the community.
The letter, which was signed by the head of the royal family and acting paramount ruler of Opuoma autonomous community, Prince Kingsley Ikenyiri, accused the commission of failing to pay to the compensation even after taking inventory of the properties before destroying them.
It reads in part: “This continuous delay or refusal by the commission to effect our over-lingering compensation payment by the Niger Delta Development Commission is inhuman and unimaginable, considering the fact that the commission took inventory of the impacted family properties thereon and agreed to pay the necessary compensation before destroying those properties.
“After destroying the properties, which was done without due process and protocol, the commission has continued to renege on her earlier promises to pay necessary compensation to our family.
“I have written series of letters to the commission without reply. And our attorney has equally written series of letters to the commission but the commission failed and refused to respond to the letters apart from only one reply to our attorney from the commission’s head of Project Management Department, Engr. G. E. Igbokwe, dated 10th April, 2012. In that reply, the commission accepted liability and again, promised to pay the necessary compensation to us but failed till date.
“The Attorney-General of the Federation on 2nd January, 2019, acknowledged my petition dated 11th October, 2018, on the outright refusal by NDDC to effect our over-lingering compensation payment and informed me that he has forwarded it to the MD (Managing Director) of NDDC for necessary action. The MD refused to act as directed.
“I therefore urge you, Mr. President, to use you good office to direct the Niger Delta Development Commission to effect our over-lingering compensation payment in the interest of peace, unity and justice.”