The Chairman of Odi Community Compensation Trust Fund, Prof Kobina K. Imananagha, has threatened to resign, citing alleged fraud as one of his reasons.
Briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt, Rivers State yesterday, he claimed that the biometric exercise being carried out to ascertain the real victims of Odi 1999 massacre, and those who are qualified to benefit from the N15 billion compensation paid to the community by the Federal Government, had been compromised by committee members.
Prof Imananagha alleged how some people registered names of non-indigenes, their girlfriends and concubines as Odi people, thereby making a mess of the exercise, which he said was intended to bring succour to victims of Odi invasion by the Obasanjo administration.
He also accused some individuals he could not disclose their identities, of instigating the youths against members of Odi Destruction Case Prosecution Committee, resulting in the recent mayhem in the community, where about nine persons were injured and property worth millions of naira were destroyed.
The problem, he said, was ignited by what was regarded as the sharing formula for the compensation. According to him, the committee will refund N300million from its share of the money in the interest of peace in the community. Besides, he said the N300million would be used to upgrade the Odi Community Hospital.
Giving further insight into the money and how it was shared, Prof Imananagha said what the government paid the community was N15 billion and not N37.6 billion according to the ruling of the court. He said the clarification was necessary to correct the erroneous impression, created by some people to the effect that N15billion was just a part payment.
He said when some of them had engaged the Federal Government in a legal battle over the destruction of Odi, there was an agreement on how the money (compensation) would be shared among the lawyers, the committee and other persons who rendered services in the matter and the Odi community.
According to him, it was agreed that the counsel would take 40 per cent, while the committee members, who committed their resources and risked their lives and pursued the case to its logical conclusion, would take N6billion. It was also agreed that the community would take N9billion.
He explained that it was the N6billion, taken by the committee as agreed, that the youths termed as missing money .
According to him, after a peace meeting, brokered by the Deputy Governor of Bayesla State, Rear Admiral John Jonah (Retd), the committee was asked to refund N300million. – The Sun.