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Flow Station: Bayelsa Community Battles SPDC, Issues 14-day Ultimatum

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA, April 23, (THEWILL) â€' Tension is mounting in Letugbene community, an Iduwini clan in Ekeremore Local Government Area of Bayelsa State as the community battles Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), over its alleged failure to accord them recognition as the host to the Tunu Flow-station.

The flow-station belonging to SPDC, according to Letugbene community is located in their community but Shell's management has refused to recognise the community as its host.

Irked by the development, the community on Wednesday issued a 14-day ultimatum to Shell to correct the anomaly or face what it described as dire consequences.

The ultimatum urged SPDC to honour the court judgement which accorded the community ownership status to the flow-station since 2012.

The ultimatum letter which was obtained by THEWILL said if within 14-days SPDC refused to act, they should be prepared for the worst in Letugbene.

The community through a statement signed by Mr. Jonah Toikiri and Mr. Job Azosibe, the Chairman and Secretary of the community respectively, said they would fight with the 'last drop of their blood' to defend what rightfully belongs to them.They accused SPDC of continuous violation of the court order, threatening to resist any attempt to deprive them of the right to their land.

They however said that the only condition for peace to reign is for SPDC to reach out to them within 14-days.

According to aggrieved community, if within 14-days, there is no representation from the company, SPDC should be prepared to 'commit genocide in the community'.

Giving details of the court judgement, the community recalled that on July 30, 2012, the Bayelsa State High Court, sitting in Yenagoa and presided over by the Chief Judge of the state, Hon.Justice Kate Abiri, entered judgment in favour of the Letugbene community against SPDC and others in the suit No; YHC/31/1994.

'The judgement declares Letugbene community as the owners of all the lands and areas bordering the Tunu Flow-Station location operated by SPDC after more than eighteen (18) years of trial'.

The appeal filed by SPDC at the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, Rivers state, was however dismissed for want of prosecution on 11, June, 2013, sequel to the community motion filed by its counsel, Bar. Nnamdi Ugwuka with motion No; CA/PH/297m/2013, at the same Appeal Court in Port Harcourt.

Since these landmark judgments were delivered, all efforts made by the community through letters and other correspondences to reach out to SPDC to accept the verdict of the courts and recognise Letugbene community as the host to the said Tunu Flow-station location and accord the community their due right and benefits as host community had proved abortive.

Having exhausted all peaceful means to reach out to SPDC to accord them their due recognition and rights without success, the community has resolved to take their destiny in their hands to ensure the enforcement of these judgments of the two competent courts in the country and this we will do with everything we have including our blood.

'The community is therefore giving SPDC fourteen (14) day ultimatum to reach-out to the community on this issue or SPDC should be prepared to either vacate our land or slaughter every man, woman, boy and girl of Letugbene community with their military might at the expiration of the ultimatum,' the community stated.