Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
Barring any hitches, five senior officials of Shell Petroleum Company of Nigeria Limited are expected to appear before the High Court of Bayelsa State in Yenagoa for allegedly violating the state’s building regulations.
They were earlier this month served with copies of criminal summons/complaint through the company’s head office at 21/22 Marina, Lagos Island shortly after the court, presided over by Justice N. Aganaga, granted the state leave for substituted service of court processes on the defendants.
The affected officials are Marcus Droll, Osagie Okunbor, David Martin, Toyin Adeshina Olagunju and Johannes Van Bunnik (all of Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, Gbaran Ubie Integrated Oil and Gas Project at Gabrantoru, Tombia Road, Bayelsa).
They were, in the criminal summons/complaint marked: Charge No:YHC/42C/2016, copies of which were obtained by our correspondent in Abuja wednesday, accused of failing to comply, within 28 days of service of enforcement notice, “to prepare and submit your drawing, building development plan(s) for approval for the structure built/developed under Gbaran Ubie Integrated Oil and Gas Project at Gbarantoru, off Tombia Road, Bayelsa State.”
The five official, including their employer, Shell are said to have, by the said act, committed an ofence contrary to Section 68(1)(a) of the Bayelsa State Physical Planning and Development Law 2015.
The Executive Secretary of Bayelsa State Physical Planning and Development Board, Boro Ige-Edaba had in a statement earlier this week, announced the sealing of the property, relying on an eviction order issued by the state High Court in Yenagoa.
He said the eviction order had granted the government of Bayelsa State leave to effect the eviction of SPDC and all occupants of the premises to enable the Physical Planning and Development Board conduct environmental, health, technical integrity and safety checks on the facility.
Ige-Edaba contended that the facility was built without a building permit (called Development Permit) as required by law.