Lawyer drops case amid Chevron Rural Development Foundation crisis

The leadership crisis gripping host communities of Chevron Nigeria Limited in the Brass and South Ijaw local government areas of Bayelsa State has taken a new turn with suspended six-member lawyer Foubai Pereyi, withdrawing his representation in their trial.

The eight oil producing communities consisting of Koluama 1 & 2, Ezetu 1 & 2, Foropa, Fish Town, Ekeni and Sangana are under the auspices of the KEFFES Rural Development Foundation and they host oil facilities operated by Chevron Nigeria Limited.

Pereyi also offered a wholehearted apology to KEFFES RDF for his involvement in his continuing crisis, while denying that he authorized a press release allegedly issued on his behalf.

He expressed his apologies and his withdrawal from legal services in a letter dated November 9, 2021 to the president, board of directors and members of the foundation.

Pereyi, in a copy of the letter obtained by our correspondent on Friday, said: “I am compelled by recent developments to formally apologize wholeheartedly to the President, members of the General Assembly, the Board of Directors and members of the KEFFES Foundation for Rural Development communities for my involvement in the foundation’s recent activities and affairs, for which I sincerely apologize.

“In the future, for personal reasons, I have withdrawn my new representation in this matter and the file has been passed on to my former client.”

Meanwhile, one of the six suspended members of Fish Town, Noel Ikonikumo, also apologized and asked for forgiveness for being part of the parallel executive of the foundation formed by its president, Tibidei Amadein, also suspended.

Ikonikumo, who was appointed secretary to the parallel executive, in his letter of apology dated November 3, 2021, apologized for attending the meeting called by Amadein where they allegedly changed the substantial leadership of KEFFES RDF headed by Sele-epri Matthew.

He said, “I attended the meeting because of the misinformation. I therefore apologize unreservedly to the chairman, Mr. Sele-epri Matthew, to the members of the BoT and to all the members of KEFFES RDF. Excuse me for this big mistake.

The six members were suspended in an emergency meeting on October 30 chaired by Sele-epri for allegedly attempting to use a misinterpretation of a state High Court ruling to change the foundation’s leadership .

The court had ruled in a complaint filed by Amadein that the foundation should hold another election. But a motion for a stay of execution has been filed with the Port Harcourt Court of Appeal in Rivers State.

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