By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA- The President General of Ndoni District Communities in Rivers State, Anthony Major, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, alleging that the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, are after his life for exposing Indian owned companies involved in illegal oil exploration in the Niger Delta region.
The Plaintiff who told the court that he is a representative of his community in the ongoing Tank Farm/Jetty Project in ONELGA, Rivers State, said his life became endangered after he rejected a N10million bribe offer to keep quiet.
He alleged that instead of investigating petitions his community forwarded to relevant security agencies with respect to activities of the Indian firms, Police, laid siege at his home to arrest and detain him.
In the suit dated December 20 and marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1571/18, which the Plaintiff filed through his lawyer, Mr. Oghenovo Otemu, he told the court that his travails commenced after youths and leaders of his community observed the illegal activities of three different companies that are owned by two Indian Nationals, from the OML-146 Agu Flow Station in Imo State, through the Ndoni Jetty Ogba/Ndoni/Edema Local Government Area (ONELGA) of Rivers State.
He said upon the discovery, youths in the community mounted surveillance and intercepted numerous trucks conveying the illegally bunkered oil, with all the recovered items handed over to the Joint Task Force, JTF, Commander in charge of ‘Operation Keep Delta Safe’, Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi.
“The Applicant took video of the activities and equally reported the case to the nearest police station for record purposes.
“That the patriotism of the Applicant Infuriated Mr. Sandeep Singh who boasted that he has the JTF Commander in his pocket and that he will use him against any person in the community who will disrupt their activities. He boasted that the commander will deal with the Applicant or any member of the community against his interest. In this regard, he concluded that Applicant will be framed up in heinous crimes so as to permanently shut up the Applicant.
“That Sterling Group, Sterling Global Oil Exploration & Energy Production Ltd and Sterling Global Oil Resources Ltd have not relented in ensuring their illegal deals are protected at the detriment of Nigerian economy and interest. The Indian has been spending money using the JTF to silent the Applicant and any other person who dare to challenge them.
“That true to Mr. Sandeep Singh’s words, the Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF), invited the Applicant to Yenagoa in Bayelsa State and accused the Applicant of illegally stopping the activities of the Company. In response the Applicant informed the JTF Commander in the presence of his officers and the said Mr. Sandeep Singh that Mr. Sandeep Singh threatened and vowed that he will use the JTF Commander to deal with the Applicant for obstructing his illegal activities.
“That unfortunately, out of shame, the JTF Commander could not rebuke or confront Mr. Sandeep Singh over the statement made by Singh that he was going to use the JTF Commander to deal with the Applicant.
“He, however, later reluctantly directed three of his officers, namely Colonel Azinda, ACP Mohammed Rabiu and a naval officer by name Otuji to accompany the Applicant and Mr. Sandeep to Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to verify the documents which Mr. Sandeep Singh has been parading as permit to carry out the illegal oil exploration.
“That on 15th of March, 2018, the aforementioned delegation got to DPR’s office in Lagos. Interestingly all the documents and permits presented by Mr. Sandeep Singh were declared to be fake by DPR officials. In fact the DPR Officials in Lagos went further to state that the Federal Government of Nigeria through the relevant agencies is not aware that oil exploration has commenced at the said 0ML146 Agu flow station in Imo State.
“That following the revelations, Mr. Sandeep went with a bribe of Ten Million Naira to the Applicant’s hotel room in Lagos begging the Applicant to stop further action concerning the illegal activities of the company. The Applicant rejected the money insisting that the proper thing must be done. This uncompromising posture of the Applicant further infuriated Mr. Sandeep Singh and the companies who have now gone all out to fight the Applicant in a bid to suppress the Applicant from exposing their illegal oil activities.
“That the Applicant as a patriotic Nigerian has written several petitions to several security agonies including all the Respondents. All the Respondents have somehow refused to investigate the allegations because every of the agencies that have received the Applicant’s petitions has been compromised by Mr Sandeep Singh and his companies.
“That the Applicant and other persons has also petitioned the National Assembly who has investigated and found the companies culpable in sabotaging the Nigerian Economy of over eight billion dollars.
“That the Chairman of the companies, Mr. Nitin Sandesara is even a fugitive in India his country as he has been declared wanted by the Indian Government because of his activities of economic sabotage that he perpetrated in India. Copies of publications showing that Mr. Nitin Sandesara is a fugitive are attached and marked EXHIBIT K.
“That the life and freedom of the Applicant is now in serious jeopardy and danger as persons from the 3rd and 4th Respondents (Inspector General of Police and the Nigerian Police Force) have laid siege in his house terrorizing his life and his family, with the clear intention of arresting and detaining him in perpetuity to satisfy the biddings of Nitin Sandesara, Deepak Barrot, Sandeep Singh, Sterling Oil Exploration & Energy Production Ltd and Sterling Global Resources Ltd who have boasted to deal with him”, the Applicant added.
Other respondents in the suit are the Director General of the Department of State Service, DSS, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
He is among other things, seeking for “An order mandating the respondents to immediately investigate and prosecute Nitin Sandesara, Deepak Barrot, Sandeep Singh, Sterling Group, Sterling Global Oil Exploration & Energy Production Ltd, Sterling Global Oil Resources Ltd and their cohorts for their illegal oil exploration activities in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.
As well as, “An order restraining the respondents, particularly the 3rd and 4th respondents, their agents, officers, privies and/or howsoever called from intimidating, arresting and detaining the Applicant on allegations brought by Nitin Sandesara, Deepak Barrot, Sandeep Singh, , Sterling Group, Sterling Global Oil exploration & Energy Production Ltd, Sterling Global Oil Resources Ltd or on their behalf in respect of facts related to or connected directly or remotely to Nitin Sandesara, Deepak Barrot, Sandeep Singh, , Sterling Group, Sterling Global Oil Exploration & Energy Production Ltd, Sterling Global Oil Resources Ltd oil exploration activities from the OML146 AGU Flow station in Imo State, through the Ndoni Jetty Ogba/Ndoni/Edema Local Government Area (ONELGA), Rivers State”.