Odi Community: Fraud Allegations Shake Compensation Trust Fund As Boss Threatens To Resign


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.

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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.