The Umu-Alanza family of Okpai in Ndokwa East Local Government Area, Delta State, has expressed its dissatisfaction over the activities of saboteurs whose stock in trade is to frustrate the smooth operations of Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO) located on its property at Okpai Oluchi.
The condemnation by the family was contained in a press release reacting to an online publication, sponsored and published on Vanguard Newspapers on December 31, 2018 by one Umu-Ezeokpai family yet of Okpai, where they laid claim to the ownership of the land hosting SEEPCO operation in Okpai.
According to the statement by the Umu-Alanza family as signed by Mr. Okwuezulu Obi Augustine, they frowned at the contempt of Court proceedings by the Umu-Ezeokpai family as represented by one Charles Odili who acted against a subject of litigation pending at the High Court of Justice, Holden at Kwale, Delta State.
While berating the malicious actions of the Umu-Ezeokpai’s, the Umu-Alanza family lamented the persistence harassment and assault of SEEPCO personnel and implored that all parties to the pending Suit to determine the true ownership of the land, be prevailed upon to allow SEEPCO operate peacefully pending the determination of the Suit.
They further urged the representative of the Umu-Ezeokpai family, Charles Odili to retract the offending publication and tender an unreserved apology to SEEPCO for the unfounded lies embedded in the Vanguard On-Line Publication aimed at ridiculing and embarrassing SEEPCO and dragging its name in the mud.
The press statement as obtained by this medium, reads in full.
PRESS RELEASE – RE-JOINDER
RE: VANGUARD NEWSPAPER ON-LINE PUBLICATION OF 31ST DECEMBER 2018 TITLED “HOSTCOM LANDLORDS IN OKPAI URGES FG, NNPC, DPR TO CALL SEEPCO TO ORDER: DEMAND FOR APPROPRIATE DIALOGUE WITH SEEPCO”
UMU-ALANZA FAMILY POSITION
Our attention has been drawn to the Vanguard On-Line Publication dated the 31st day of December 2018, by Umu-Ezeokpai family of Okpai, represented by one Charles Odili.
Ordinarily, we would not have re-acted, on the ground that the land referred to in the said publication is already a subject of litigation, pending at the High Court of Justice, Holden at Kwale, Delta State.
However, to put the record straight, we wish to state categorically, bearing in mind that the subject matter is already before a court of competent jurisdiction, as follows:
- That the large expanse of land known as Azunoise, which includes where the J Location is situated, measuring approximately 36.2 hectares, lying and situate at Okpai Oluchi, is the property of Umu-Alanza family, and not the property of Umu-Ezeokpai family, represented by Charles Odili, as claimed in the above on-line Vanguard publication.
- That the above parcel of land, including where J Location is sited, is subject matter of a pending litigation in Suit No. HCK/75/2017: OKWUEZULU ANTHONY IJEOMA & 3 ORS. (for themselves and on behalf of Umu-Alanza family of Okpai) VS. ALFRED UWAEZE & 10 ORS. (for themselves and on behalf of Umu-Ezeokpai family of Okpai), with STERLING OIL EXPLORATION AND ENERGY PRODUCTION COMPANY LIMITED (SEEPCO) as the 11th Defendant.
- That on the Application of the 12th – 14th Defendants, Umu-Enusue Family of Okpai was also joined as co-Defendant in the Suit.
- That Umu-Ezeokpai family in their pleading/counter-claim is only claiming joint ownership with Umu-Alanza to the land in dispute.
- That SEEPCO prior to entering the site, duly consulted with all parties to the Suit, as they are but mere nominal party to the Suit, and it was agreed that SEEPCO should go ahead with its exploration activities, after making some payments and granting job slots, pending when the Honourable Court decides who actually own the land in dispute.
- That Charles Odili and his family (Umu-Ezeokpai family) amongst other benefits, produced one PENGASAN Chairman and one NUPENG Chairman to SEEPCO, prior to the opening of J Location, making them one of the most beneficiary of SEEPCO operations in Okpai.
7. That the insinuation, allegations and claims of Charles Odili and his family, Umu-Ezeokpai, in the above on-line publication is not only contemptuous of the pending suit, but wicked, malicious and aimed at tarnishing the image of SEEPCO, and most likely has political agenda to blackmail SEEPCO.
8.That rather, is Charles Odili and his family youths that are harassing and assaulting SEEPCO personnel, notwithstanding several meetings and agreements at such meetings with respect to SEEPCO exploration activities on the land now in dispute.
- That Charles Odili, members of his family, (Umu-Ezeokpai) and all parties to the pending Suit i.e. members of Umu-Alanza and Umu-Enesue families, be prevailed upon to allow SEEPCO operate peacefully at the J Location, pending the determination of the Suit.
- That Charles Odili retracts the offending publication and tenders an unreserved apology to SEEPCO for the unfounded lies embedded in the Vanguard On-Line Publication, aimed at ridiculing and embarrassing SEEPCO and dragging its name in the mud.
SIGNED: MR. OKWUEZULU OBI AUGUSTINE (for and on behalf of Umu-Alanza Family of Okpai).