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Wike’s corruption allegation against boundary commission mischievous, says DG

Wike’s corruption allegation against boundary commission mischievous, says DG
May 11
11:39 2022

Adamu Adaji, director-general of the National Boundary Commission (NBC), has described the allegation of corruption levelled against the commission by Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, “as mischievous’’.

Commenting after the supreme court judgment in favour of Rivers state over the disputed 17 oil wells with Imo state, Wike accused the NBC of collusive actions and alleged that the commission is “notorious as one of the most corrupt national agencies”.

He also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the activities of the commission.

But reacting to the allegation, Adaji described Wike’s claim as a “mischievous act to cover up its lackadaisical attitude towards addressing the boundary issue”.

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The NBC DG said the commission cannot be accused of any collusive actions when it was not an interested party in the oil well dispute.

He alleged that the Rivers government had made itself unavailable and uncooperative towards a peaceful resolution of the case.

“We vehemently deny any act of corruption in our conduct in respect to the Imo/Rivers interstate boundary and any other one for that matter,” Adaji said.

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“The allegation by Rivers’ government is a mischievous act to cover its inability and lackadaisical attitude towards addressing boundary disputes.

“The boundaries between the two states have not been demarcated. This is because of the Rivers’ uncooperative attitude toward a peaceful resolution of the disputed portion.

“The NBC’s intervention into the Imo/Rivers boundary started as far back in 2003, when a joint meeting of officials from the two states was held in Owerri to deliberate on the modalities for the demarcation.

“But unfortunately, both states then were evidently not ready for the physical tracing and the provisional demarcation of the boundary.”

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Adaji said the NBC made efforts to come up with a new strategy for the tracing and demarcation of the boundary and invited the two states for a meeting.

“Going forward, we wrote the two states letter for a meeting in March 2020, and the governor of Rivers called me and requested that the meeting should be held on neutral ground, so NBC agreed that it should be held in Abuja,” he said.

“So, we held the meeting in March 2020 in Abuja, consequently, the NBC resolved to pursue the agreement of the joint meeting of officials of both states.

“It was agreed at the meeting that parties should sensitise their people before the field work on tracing and demarcation to be carried out in May. Imo did, but Rivers never sensitised their people.

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“It was also agreed that both states would meet in the first week of April on documents to be used.

“On April 6, 2020, the scheduled day for the meeting, the government of Rivers called again that the state would not attend the meeting based on the directive by the state governor Wike, citing a pending court case on the issue of ownership of some wells.

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“By this, Rivers refused to participate both in the screening and authentication of documents exercise and other agreed actions; Rivers refused to partake in the physical fieldwork.”

Adaji added that the commission will not allow any state to frustrate its work and efforts.

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