The host communities of SPDC EA field OML 79 in Ekeremor local government area of Bayelsa state has concluded plans to embark on a massive protest in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, as part of the forum’s call for the immediate sack of the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote.
The forum of host communities which had earlier written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari and signed by representatives of the host communities had cited reasons of abuse of office and breach of public trust, among others.
While still maintaining their earlier stand for President Buhari to, “as a matter of urgency, sack ENGR. SIMBI KESIYE WABOTE” and to “appoint an acting executive secretary of the board to run the board for the remaining tenure”, the forum also asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe his tenure as an executive secretary of the board.
According to the forum: “Our communities are suffering in the hands of Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote. He does not understand the NCDMB Act, thus does not know how to implement the NCDMB Act in the IOC’s operations with host communities.
“Mr. President, you are a man of high Integrity and someone like Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote is not fit to be in your administration. Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote abandoned the functions of NCDMB Act and used the board the way he likes. The NCDMB Act was created to guide, monitor, coordinate and implement the provision of the Act in the Oil & Gas Industry, IOC’s operations, but the reverse is the case now.
“Above all, we are now set to storm ABUJA for a massive protest to call on you to sack Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote of NCDMB without delay. Engr. Simbi Wabote continued stay in that board will cause more crisis in the Niger Delta and create more rooms for corruption in the board. We can’t allow this kind of impunity to continue in the NCDMB, which is saddled with the responsibilities to regulate the activities of all the International Oil Companies (IOC’s) in the Niger Delta to be misbehaving,” part of the statement reads.
The forum informed the presidency of a court order with suit Number FHC/YNG/CS/50/2020 which the NCDMB executive secretary had refused to obey, leading to “a Contempt of Court (Form 48) to be served on him dated 24th Feb., 2021 but which he evaded service twice, and ran to the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt and filed an Appeal with Suit Number CA/PH/115/2021 with the sole aim to continuously stay in the office” and “his (Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote) hiring a Senior Advocate of Nigeria to defend him in court with our public fund.”
They also added that the plaintiff who is one of their sons, Mr. Goodnews Gereghewei, who instituted the case against Engr. Wabote and the board “has also CROSS APPEALED that particular judgment from the Federal High Court in order to get the remaining two (left over) prayers they sought for the lower court and one of such prayers sought for was to CONVICT Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote. And once that is achieved it will be an embarrassment to your administration”.
The Forum further maintained that in order to avoid such an embarrassment on the presidency that is known to be waging a war against corruption, president Buhari should invoke his powers as contained in Section 81 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Development (NOGID) Act, 2010 and sack Engr. Wabote as the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB “as a person not fit and proper to hold the said office” and “Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote is so corrupt that he finds it very difficult and has never implemented the provisions of Sections 65, 66, 67 and 68 of NOGID Act 2010.”