From Fred Itua, Abuja
A group of civil society organizations in defense of justice called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the first generation bank to unblock the bank account of the cooperative and the credit company Eleme INDORAMA Petrochemical’s Petrochemical in Rivers State.
Speaking to journalists from Abuja, host of rights groups, Sam Adah im on February 26, 2009, the federal government through the National Privatization Council had approved the sale of 10% of its shares in Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Ltd, Port Harcourt, Rivers State to the host community and interested staff of Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals.
He said the 10% of the shares of the capital were shared as 7.5% went to the host community, while the remaining 2.5% went to Indoroma Eleme Petrochemicals staff.
“Interested personnel have gathered at Eleme petrochemical cooperatives in accordance with the Federal Government’s directive that a special purpose vehicle should be formed where all members will belong to enable them to purchase the shares. In 2013, 10 employees who had initially subscribed to the purchase of 2.5 shares of the capital saw their employment dismissed at Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals.
“This led to the start of a legal battle over whether the dismissed staff can continue to benefit from the dividends since they are no longer members of the company.
“When share ownership became an issue, the laid-off staff approached the River State Department of Commerce and Industry to arbitrate between it and the cooperative, the department issued an arbitration award in favor of the dismissed staff and, consequently, staff released from the co-operative, approached the Federal High Court to enforce the arbitration award and, as required by law, it was granted and the award became a judgment of the Federal High Court. The judgment confirmed that the staff members were the genuine owners of the shares, ”Adah said.
He said the judgment has not been appealed to date. The EFCC began investigating ownership of the co-op’s shares after the case was concluded in the Federal High Court.
He added: “The EFCC claimed fraud was committed in acquiring the 2.5% of the shares after the High Court upheld due process and rightful owners. The EFCC continues to intimidate those in charge of the cooperative.
“This act continued until Justice Taiwo .O .Taiwo of the Federal High Court in the case of FHC / ABJ / SC / 1222/2020 issued an order prohibiting the EFCC from arresting, d ‘invite, hold and prosecute or investigate the acquisition of INDORAMA shares. Petrochemical Ltd.
“We urge the new EFCC chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa to reconsider the case and ensure that certain elements of the agency promoting the abuse of court orders are stopped and dealt with accordingly.”
EFCC spokesperson Wilson Uwujaren told our correspondent that pending cases are not immediately made available to his office.