Ugborodo community in Warri Southwest council area of Delta State has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to help it in retrieving N12.31 billion from JAD Group, an oil service provider company.

The community, in a petition signed by three representatives, under the aegis of Ugborodo Community Leaders/Stakeholders, 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).

The petition, signed by Pastor Benson Babine, Mr. James Debbi Kaka, and Prince D.O. Omunu, the community claimed 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 petition claimed 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 in pick up vans, forklifts, trailers, barges, house boats, cranes, and other forms of equipment, that Ugborodo indigenous contractors could not handle were given to JAD Companies to supply.

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

According to the petition, in defaulting to remit to the community with regards to proceeds from an equipment supply contract, which started since 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 this 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 Ugborodo community, particularly in the areas of erosion, flood control and shore protection, that 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 metres 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.”