The leadership of eight host communities affected by Chevron Nigeria Limited’s exploration activities in Southern Ijaw and Brass local government areas of Bayelsa State under the KEFEES Rural Development Foundation (KRDF) have suspended six persons.
The sanctioned persons were allegedly involved in the lingering crisis within the organisation.
They were accused of interpreting an order of the State High Court wrongly and attempting to change the leadership through the back door.
KEFEES is a foundation representing the eight Chevron Nigeria Limited host communities in Bayelsa, comprising Koluama 1 & 2, Ezetu 1 & 2, Foropa, Fish Town, Ekeni and Sangana, located along the Atlantic Ocean coastline within Bayelsa State.
Tibiebi Woinemi Amadein had in a suit challenged the chairmanship position of Matthew Sele-epri at the state high court, Oporoma Division.
The court ordered KEFEES Rural Development Foundation to conduct another election and a stay of execution motion was filed before the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
It was gathered that the High Court in its ruling did not declare the claimant, Amadein as Chairman of the KRDF.
And he had allegedly in defiance of the ruling of the court written a letter to Chevron Oil Limited, claiming victory and setting up a parallel executive of the foundation.
But some members of the foundation, after an emergency meeting in Yenagoa on Saturday, described the action of Amadein, Kofa Murphy Daniel, Noel Ikonikomo, Christopher Longlife, Mrs Amina James and Ebitare Joseph as gross misconduct.
They said their action had caused serious disaffection and negative publicity for the body. They, therefore, suspended their membership of the KEFEES Foundation indefinitely without benefit.
An emergency meeting, which had in attendance, 26 out of the 32 members of the foundation, was presided over by the Chairman, Sele-epri.
At the end of the meeting, the members of the foundation resolved unanimously that the court judgement on the suit filed by the claimant was clear and specific to the office of the chairman.
They said the “judgment is a decision of the first court of instance which is subject to an appeal and therefore cannot be enforced since the defendant has already filed an appeal and a stay of execution of the judgment of the lower court”.
A statement issued by the foundation, signed by its Secretary, Ngozi Amakiri and read by an ex-officio member, Chief Christopher Tudu, said: “That the said three members of KEFEES who openly apologised to the house and asked for forgiveness be pardoned accordingly. That the house by way of a motion after deliberating on the evil and unpatriotic actions of Messrs Tibiebi made, Kofa Murphy Daniel, Noel Ikonikomo, Christopher Longlife, Amina James and Ebitare Joseph has resolved that given the impunity of their action which has caused serious disaffection and negative publicity on the body, be accordingly suspended from the membership of Keffes Foundation without benefit indefinitely.
“That the house unanimously passed a VOTE OF CONFIDENCE on the Sele-epri -led government and assured them of their absolute unflinching support.”