MEND Commends Judiciary On Odi's N37 Billion Compensation Verdict

By SaharaReporters, New York

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has applauded yesterday’s judgment of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt in which the sum of N37.6 billion was awarded as compensation to the people of Odi community in Bayelsa State over the military invasion of their community during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The order was given by Justice Lambi Akanbi order while delivering judgment in a N100 billion suit filed by the community, which is located in Kolokuma-Opokuma Local Government Area.  Justice Akanbi also ordered that the compensation be paid within three weeks.

Commending the “extra-ordinary courage” of the judge in a statement by Comrade Azizi, MEND said that with the verdict coming from an arm of the Nigeria government, all the freedom fighters in the Niger Delta, including those of MEND, have now been vindicated.

“Nigerians can now see clearly that the invasion of our communities were carried out by the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo purely to have control of our resources which was gained by Olusegun Obasanjo, his associates and the International Oil Companies (IOC) operating within the Niger Delta,” the statement said.

It underlined that the verdict is one of the movement’s key demands and that MEND is still waiting for Justice Kolawale of the Federal High Court in Abuja to review the death and life sentences imposed on some of their members, and also called for the release of Henry Okah, their leader.

On other issues, MEND called on the Northern politicians and their international oil companies operating within the Niger Delta Region to accept that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has come to stay, and warned against any alterations of the bill.

“There should be no review whatsoever of the new fiscal terms being proposed in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which is currently undergoing legislative scrutiny at the National Assembly, this we will not accept,” the statement said.

On the subject of the 2015 election, the group noted that Nigerians and only Nigerians alone will decide who runs or becomes the next president in 2015, warning that no Nigerian has mandated any person(s) (politicians) to enter into any agreement(s) on their behalf in that regard.  

“Finally, we (MEND) want to inform the Nigerian Government that our movement is ever ready to negotiate both the release of our leader Henry Okah/members and also the peace of the region if truly they want it,” the group said.

Full text of the statement:
Ref: COURT VERDICT ON ODI, THE PIB BILL AND 2015 ELECTION.
Present at the Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt yesterday the 19th of February 2013, we (MEND) sincerely do appreciate the extra-ordinary courage exhibited by Justice Lambi Akanbi in awarding the sum of N37.6B as compensation to the people of Odi community in Kolokuma - Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State over the invasion of their community by armed soldiers during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

With this verdict coming from an arm of the Nigeria Government, the entire freedom fighters in the Niger Delta (MEND & Others) has been vindicated.

Nigerians can now see clearly that the invasion of our communities were carried out by the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo purely to have control of our resources which was gained by Olusegun Obasanjo, his associates and the International Oil Companies (IOC) operating within the Niger Delta.

According to the ruling, the Federal Government was ordered to pay the compensation to these communities within three weeks beginning from yesterday the 19th February 2013, which we (MEND) will enforce.

The verdict issued yesterday has been one of our key demands while we look towards Justice Kolawale of the Federal High Court Abuja for a review of the death/life sentence of our members he sent to jail while calling for the release of our leader (Henry Okah).

Meanwhile, the Northern politicians and their international oil companies operating within the Niger Delta Region should accept the realities on ground that the PIB has come to stay; we (MEND) have a recent copy of this bill and will advise those concerns of the consequences if that bill is altered.
There should be no review whatsoever of the new fiscal terms being proposed in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which is currently undergoing legislative scrutiny at the National Assembly, this we will not accept.

Furthermore, concerning the 2015 election, we (MEND) believe that no Nigerian not even one had mandated any person(s) (politicians) to enter into any agreement(s) on their behalf on who becomes the next Nigerian President come 2015, for sure, we (MEND) as individuals never gave such authorization to any individual, groups or political party, so we (MEND) want to advise the likes of Governor Aliyu Babandiga of Niger State and his co-traveler Mr. Junaid Mohammed that Nigerians and only Nigerians alone will decide who runs or becomes the next president come 2015.

Mr. Junaid Mohammed should rather state clearly the serious consequences (war) and not “serious legal problems” should anybody outside the Northern part of the country decides to contest or re-contest the election. We (MEND) will want to remind Mr. Junaid Mohammed of our previous communiqué were we (MEND) clearly stated that the separation of Nigeria will commence by usand through us (MEND), 2015 will determine if the entity called Nigeria will remain if peace is not given a chance.

Finally, we (MEND) want to inform the Nigerian Government that our movement is ever ready to negotiate both the release of our leader Henry Okah/members and also the peace of the region if truly they want it.

SIGNED:

Comrade Azizi

20th February 2013

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37billion is just too small for a rich Odi. Just too small

Good report! But the 37b is just too small. Even 100b is still insignificant bcos we know how much we are worth. We want FULL control of our land & resources. It is debasing for d occupyin Nigerian Govt 2pay Odi a meagre 37b when d Nigerian Army on d orders of a demented OBJ invaded my Odi & killed even Octogenerians when they could nt find d freedom fighters.Shame. What about d idiot who gave d orders? Shudn't the Chimp be tried at the Hague....No! We will nt get justice there bcos R.Dutch Shell has an interest in my SS&SE oil. So, its best to make OBJ face a trial on our own terms...get a possessed dog chop off his 'broukous' & leave him untreated. This pain will nt even compare to the pain of my people whose ecology-farm land & aquatic endowments hav been completely devastated by Nigeria & its allied Western colaborators. May d hottest places in hell be reserved for OBJ & others who hav presided over d raping & wanton destruction of our ancestral land. Amen!

@Born Again WAHALA of Abriba

@wahala, OBJ was not sent to the Hague to face trial simply because the UN said the Odil massacre was time barred! Sadly OBJ has not learnt a single lesson or shown any remorse over the blood, tears and sorrows he left behind in Odi. Was he not quoted recently as saying GEJ should be impeached for not giving Boko Haram, which reared its demonic head in the Fulani North during his era in 2003 together with Buhari, the Odi treatment? Obj is very happy to have his name associated with Odi-glad to be described as the Hitler who gased the people of Odi and the surrounding villages to death-that is 9ja 4 u-One law for Yusuf anoda 4 Okah-Again hope MEND will not as its usual with Ijaw leaders allow their water-side brains to be used to champion the fight of other awuf loving enclaves in 9ja-4 d Ijaw Nation are the losers of the lagos and Abuja bombing--its also time 4 Jonah to reach out to them-regardless! Soldeirs involved in d genocide dat took place in Gbaranmatu are still alive

OBJ and Danjuma are easy to catch

I have never condoned the killing of those poilicemen but the invasion of Odi had a lot of underpinnings.

I knew both men carry HATRED in their hearts. The wanton destruction screams volumes. . .

I like OBJ but I know for sure he holds grudge and delighs in settling scores with perceived enemies.

ODI WAS AN ATROCITY FIT FOR THE ICC-THE VERDICT REAFFIRMS IT.

The recent verdict in favour of the community of ODI is a clear indication of the abuse of office with impunity common in the Nigerian system.
In Kenya,those politicians responsible for the violence which claimed lives during the last elections are facing prosecution at the ICC,Hague while in Nigeria those responsible for inciting violence after our elections which equally claimed lives including Youth Corps members walk free.
OLUSEGUN OBASANJO was the President under whose watch the invasion,massacre and inhuman destruction of ODI took place,he must be made to answer for the lives lost in the wanton act of brutality.This verdict must be a warning to all politicians who act with impunity and employ extra-judicial tactics to quell agitations.

ODI WAS AN ATROCITY FIT FOR THE ICC-THE VERDICT REAFFIRMS IT.

The recent verdict in favour of the community of ODI is a clear indication of the abuse of office with impunity common in the Nigerian system.
In Kenya,those politicians responsible for the violence which claimed lives during the last elections are facing prosecution at the ICC,Hague while in Nigeria those responsible for inciting violence after our elections which equally claimed lives including Youth Corps members walk free.
OLUSEGUN OBASANJO was the President under whose watch the invasion,massacre and inhuman destruction of ODI took place,he must be made to answer for the lives lost in the wanton act of brutality.This verdict must be a warning to all politicians who act with impunity and employ extra-judicial tactics to quell agitations.

The judiciary putting the

The judiciary putting the people's money where it belongs. Not a bad move at all but will it trickle down to the poor? You be the judge from experiences.

Rogue politicians, please save this nation from impending demise at least for those who just want to just live in peace. N37 billion is nothing compared to what individual corrupt politicians steal while in government. I do not advocate militancy but the rogues created this situation knowing they can't control the militants. I guess you have to dance to their tone now. A temporary fix by a so called government, what a shame!

Compensation must be followed by Conviction!

While this is good news to the victims' families, ultimate justice is when the culprits are fianlly brought to book. Those directly responsible for the carnage must be forwarded to the Hague for prosecution on charges bordering on Crimes Against Humanity ...Pogrom! The Ota Monster has a dubious track record in that regard that goes back to the Biafran War and it's time he's held accountable. Hopefully, this settlement will trickle down to the affected communities as I suspect Stooge Dickson will garner it into the funds he's raising for the Dumbos to prosecute 2015 elections, part of the reason we're losing 4500,000bls/day of crude from Bayelsa Loading Terminal ...and the Flyovers Scam!

MEND should go further and demand an Independent Mgmt and execution of projects with the money. Don't trust NDDC, ND Ministry nor Dickson!

JUDICIARY

ONE UP FOR THE JUDICIARY!!!

obj shd be arrested and jail .money is not everytin

pple of odi are human beings and cannot be bought wt money. dis is a case of genocide which charles taylor is facing similarily . and here in nigeria we are talking of money compensation dat will still come out from tax payers money. judiciary shd step up in dir judgement. for now iam expecting smtin new from judiciary although iam aware dat obj is a sacred cow?

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