By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN-CITY—ELDERS and leaders of five quarters in Ukwu – Nzu community in Aniocha North local Government Area of Delta State have rejected the Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, report conducted on a proposed project in the area by Mosra Enerji Limited, describing it as fraudulent.
In an open letter to the Minister of Environment through their counsel, Olayiwola Afolabi, the community also called on the Minister to put on hold the process of certification of Mosra Enerji Limited pending the determination of its suit against the company.
The community asked the Minister to compel the company to make a copy of their draft report to it for consideration or alternatively it should carry out a review of the report pursuant to the prevision of the Act just as they want it to set in motion the process of mediation as provided under Section 29 and 35 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Act.
The community told the Minister that the indigenes were rejecting the EIA conducted by Mosra Enerji Limited on the following grounds: “By the notice pasted, a copy of which is hereby attached, the draft of the EIA as prepared by Mosra Enerji Limited ought to be made public for vetting and thereupon comments will be appropriately made.
“However, till date, no copy of such report has been given to the community or made available at the designated locations and every stakeholder is in the dark as to the content and bearings of the said draft report.
“It must be noted that Mosra Enerji Limited entered our client’s lands sometime in 2016 and without due consultation of the individual owners, occupants and aborigines of the said land, immediately began preliminary work on a total expanse of land separately measuring approximately.”
“These expanse of lands covered areas belonging exclusively to several quarters within Ukwu- Nzu community as well as families and individuals who have held ownership and possessory rights over these lands exclusively from time immemorial.
“Pertinent among the issues raised by our client is the fact that it seemed to them at the time that Mosra Enerji Limited was very hasty and undiplomatic in their approach to the project and they were yet to do the needed assessment/feasibility and consultations with relevant authorities.
“To put it mildly, Mosra Enerji was simply leaning towards land grabbing rather than showing to all and sundry that they had concrete development plans other than to speculate on the lands cultivated by peasant farmers.”