IRDC’s N300million: Rita Lori gets seven days to retract ‘double-faced’ publication

· Chevron never objected to proceedings that led to striking out of its name from the suit – IRDC leadership

By: | on | 3723 views
Topic: News

IRDC’s N300million: Rita Lori gets seven days to retract ‘double-faced’ publication

The leadership of Itsekiri Regional Development Committee, IRDC, has given the Igba of Warri Kingdom, Chief (Mrs.) Rita Lori-Ogbebor and her personal solicitor, Patrick Oganwu Esq., seven days to retract what they described as offensive publications by Chief (Mrs.) Rita Lori Ogbebor and Mr. Patrick Oganwu in Vanguard Newspapers of 14th January 2023, in a purported attempt to extricate themselves from the terms of settlement in a consent judgment, as it affects IRDC’s Three Hundred Million Naira (N300,000.000.00) or they would be compelled to take the necessary civil and criminal actions.

In a statement released in Warri, Delta State, Thursday February 2, IRDC leadership, claimed that Chevron Nigeria Limited, which initiated the recent suit No. W/284/2022 and Chief (Mrs.) Rita Lori Ogbebor, “who personally signed Terms of Settlement and authorized the release of N80,000.000.00 (Eighty Million Naira) to pay the solicitors retained by her and her Co-Claimants in Suit No. EHC/20/2021”, have, “un-ashamedly taken to the media space to prosecute and defend a matter that is already sub-judice”, as published in the Vanguard Newspaper of 13th and 14th of January 2023.

The statement signed by the Chairman and Secretary of IRDC, Mr. Itse Orugboh and Richard Omare Esq., respectively, noted inter-alia: “The freezing order placed on IRDC bank accounts by the High Court, Warri in Suit No. W/561/2017, for over 3years, almost grounded the activities of IRDC in the 23 communities, that hosted Chevron. IRDC was compelled to hire Senior Lawyers (including a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and a former State Attorney General) to clear the coast to enable her carryout its mandatory responsibilities. It was necessary that all the cases and appeals at the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court (not less than 8) were settled out of court, since the trial high Court had already made an interlocutory freezing order on its bank accounts.

“Chevron Nigeria Limited never objected to the settlement moves. IRDC was wearing the shoes and knew where it was pinching.  Chevron Nigeria Limited participated in all the proceedings that led to the striking out of its name from the suit, which it never objected to.

“One would have expected them to keep their gun powder dry for the legal fireworks that will start soon in court, as facts are sacred and no media laundry or white-washing will change the facts”.

Whilst explaining that the creation of IRDC was as a result of the agitation of the Itsekiri Oil Producing Committees in Chevron’s operational areas across Warri South, Warri South-West and Warri North Local Government Areas, wherein the oil and gas major provided voluntary financial contributions to IRDC accounts, “as part of its social responsibility, to enhance the socio-economic development of the 23 communities that made up the IRDC”, IRDC exco, posited: “ IRDC is the owner and the sole beneficiary of the funds in her bank accounts.

“It is most unfair and mischievous of Chief (Mrs.) Rita Lori Ogbebor and her personal solicitor, one Patrick Oganwu Esq. to conspire and try to turn the truth upside down, making a malicious publication thus ‘That using the said terms of settlement our client’s erstwhile solicitors who acted for her in suit No. EHC/20/2020 without the consent of our client, connived with the other parties to the proceedings and withdrew the sum of N300, 000,000.00 purporting same to be their legal fees’. Patrick Oganwu Esq. who is fully aware of the documented falsehood of his client, but decided to shield her, failed to state that Chief (Mrs.) Rita Lori, personally signed the retainership instructions to her solicitors in suit No. EHC/20/2020, where she stated that their legal fees will be paid from the IRDC funds and this she fulfilled when, again, she personally signed the terms of settlement, authorizing IRDC to pay the said solicitors their legal fees, which was thereupon made a consent judgment. This was not surprising, because she insisted that IRDC paid her solicitors their fees, as she had no money to pay them. It is therefore, callous and double-faced for the Chief (Mrs.) Rita Lori Ogbebor, Patrick Oganwu and one Mr. (Engr.) Victor Wood, her agent to be manufacturing false tales in an attempt to cover up their involvement.

“Chief (Mrs.) Rita Lori Ogbebor, cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time. We advise them to save their resources and energy to tackle suit No. W/284/2022 instead of shamelessly attacking IRDC and her erstwhile lawyers. Taking a holistic look at the entire terms of settlement and the consent judgment in suit no. W/561/2017 (EHC/20/2020), all the solicitors involved and IRDC ought to be commended.
It is legally impossible for IRDC, the sole owner and beneficiary of the funds in the IRDC bank accounts to connive with any person (s) to embezzle their own money. This is very elementary for even law school students to know. The Vanguard publications referred to are malicious, defamatory, callous and a weak conspiratorial attempt by Chief (Mrs.) Rita Lori Ogbebor to run away from her deeds”.

Copyright: Fresh Angle International (
ISSN 2354 - 4104

Sponsored Ad

Tonebsky Nesta
Tonebsky Nesta is the pen name for Metsese Anthony Ebule, Co-Publisher/Editor-In-Chief
Read other stories by Tonebsky Nesta

Sponsored Ads