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Imo Assembly To Issue Bench Warrant On Defiant Oil Companies

Channels Television  
Updated August 30, 2015

imo-state-house-of-asemblyThe Imo State House of Assembly has threatened to issue a bench warrant on top officials of some oil companies doing business and operating in Imo State.

This threat is coming after the oil companies failed to honour an invitation to appear before the lawmakers in order to explain the reason for allegedly failing in their Corporate Social Responsibility to both the host communities and state government, especially in the payment of outstanding ground rents and other statutory payments amounting to N40 billion.

Before ordering the officials out of the Assembly premises in deep anger, the Speaker, Rt Honourable Acho Ihim, told the officials that a new date will be fixed for the top management officials of the oil companies to appear before the house.

Mr Ihim stated that failure to honour the invitation will be tantamount to compelling the House to invoke Section 129 (B) of the 1999 Constitution, which invokes a bench warrant on the top officials wherever they may be.

Oil companies involved includes Shell, Chevron, Addax, Agip and Waltersmith Oil.

However, efforts to speak with the officials present at the House of Assembly proved abortive, as they all turned down interviews.

In June, the Imo State House of Assembly passed a bill urging the State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, to demand the immediate payment of outstanding ground rents and other statutory payments amounting to 40 billion Naira from oil companies operating in the state since 1978.