N8 billion Eket-Ibeno Road investigation: Assembly c’tte ignores Exxon Mobil’s delegation, adjourns to June 30

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Investigations into the recently warlike accusations and counter claims between the Akwa Ibom State government and the Exxon Mobil unlimited over the purported donation of eight billion naira (N8 billion) by the company to the government to assist in the construction of Eket-Ibeno Road has dwindled.

The setback followed the refusal of the panel to address a delegation of three members from the company headed by its Head of Media and Communications, Mr Ogeh Ogaga, whose appearance before it Thursday at the House of Assembly complex, Uyo for presentations in the stead of Exxon Mobil unlimited was grossly ignored on the grounds of incompetence.

Announcing the postponement of the committee’s sitting to Friday, June 30, the Chairman of the committee, Otobong Akpan, said with full rights conferred on him and in consultations with his members, it was resolved that Exxon Mobil unlimited was not serious about the plight of the host communities and the state of their operations.

He said Mobil’s attitude of sending intermediary staff when the committee’s invitation letter was addressed to its MD with full expectation that he should make appearance in person together with other principal officials of the company was derisive on the powers of the House and was grossly negligible.

Participants at the public hearing

The Chairman’s pronouncement was sequel to weighty allegations raised by stakeholders from Mobil’s host community including, a former House of Representatives member and Chieftain in Eket Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Chief Nduese Essien, Deputy Chief Whip of the House, and member representing Eket State Constituency, Hon. David Lawrence, and Paramount Ruler of Ibeno, Owong Effiong Achianga.

It could be recalled that the Otobong Akpan led committee was recently inaugurated by the House to investigate and establish the veracity of the claim by the company that it donated the said amount to the government of the state for the road construction, its relationship with host communities, the SP2 project and the MoU with the host communities and Akwa Ibom State government.

Former Minister, Ndueso Essien, making his presentations at the hearing

In a chat with the press, Chief Ndueso Essien said the decision of the House to ignore the representatives of Mobil was appropriate believing that the company would make better appearance which would lead to the root of the matter by June 30.

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