House of Reps Threatens Warrant on Shell's MD

The House of Representatives through its House Committee on Public Petition has threatened to issue a warrant on the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Osagie Okunbor.

This followed the refusal of the firm to honour invitation by the Committee on public Petitions of the House on three occasions.

During the sitting, the Chairman, Public Petitions Committee, Hon. Nkem Ozoma expressed dismay over the non-appearance of SHELL on two occasions after the company was given prior notices.

This is clearly in pursuant Section 89[1][d] of the 1999 Constitution [as amended]-states that “for the purpose of any investigation under section 88 of this constitution and subject to the provision thereof, the senate or House of Representatives or a committee appointed in accordance with section 62 of this constitution shall-have power to issue warrant to any person to compel the attendance of person who after having been summoned to attend, fails, refuses or neglects to do so and does not excuse such failure, refusal or neglect to the satisfaction of the House or the committee in question...’’

This is a reminder that nobody is above the law and we are responsible for our action or inaction.

It could be recalled that the Akepilai Community in Ogbia area of Bayelsa State had petitioned Shell over the Company’s refusal to honour MOU entered into with the community since 2002.

In the MOU, Shell accepted to provide pipe borne water and electrification of Akepilai community but faulted the agreement to provide pipe borne water project fourteen years after.

The community had written series of petition to the Bayelsa State Government through its Ministry of Environment but Shell ignored effort by the state Government for amicable settlement of the issue.

This development compelled the Community to further petition Shell at the National Assemby Abuja but again Shell dishonoured three invitations by the House to resolve the dispute, a situation which necessitated the chairman of the House Committee on Public Petition, Hon. Nkem Uzoma, to threaten to issue Warrant on the Managing Director of the multi-national company, Mr. Osagie Okunbor.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Community Development Committee of Akipelai Community, Mr. Nelson Adaka has expressed disgust over the attitude of Shell on the matter and has threatened to further the case until justice is done.