Activist replies group, insists Dickson attempted to privatize Bayelsa’s Atala oil field

Yenagoa—The National President of Niger Delta Nonviolence Agitators Forum (NDNAF), Wisdom Ikuli has chided the Bayelsa West Congress group which in a statement on Thursday accused Ikuli of being sponsored to drag the former Bayelsa State governor, Chief Seriake Dickson into the state-owned Atala oil field saga.

Responding to the group, Ikuli in a statement on Friday described the group as faceless, alleging that Dickson while as governor made a “futile attempt to dispossess Bayelsa State and Bayelsans the ownership of Atala Oil Field that is also known as OML 46.”

According to Ikuli, Dickson had a grand conspiracy with his cousin Mr. Ebikabowei Charles Dorgu the Managing Director of Bayelsa Oil Company (BOCL) to privatize the Atala oilfield through Halkin Exploration and Production Limited.

The statement reads; “The operational license of Atala OML 46 was issued to the Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Ph.D JP and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2003 by President Olusegun Obasanjo who wanted to give Bayelsa State and others high sense of belonging.

“Chief Alamieyeseigha who was fondly called ALAMCO by his supporters and admirers on the other hand saw the great need for state ownership of the marginal field which will help to generate revenue for the state.

“After securing the license, the ALAMCO administration also set up the machinery for the proper management of the marginal field. It was still in the process before the abrupt termination of the administration and the short-lived Dr. Jonathan administration in the state.

“Chief Timipre Sylva on assumption of office as the third executive Governor of Bayelsa State speedily put in place the management and administrative structures that will help to develop Atala Marginal Field.

“The above was due to his vast experiences in the oil and gas sector having served earlier as Personal Assistant to Dr. Edmund Daukoru who was the then Minister of State for Petroleum Resources now, His Eminence and King of the great Ancient Nembe Kingdom.

“Thereafter, Gov. sylva invested some Billions of Naira into the development of the Atala Marginal Field. The management of Bayelsa Oil Company (BOCL) and its partners Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited (HONL) and Century Exploration and Production Limited collaboratively developed and also farmed it to maturity to the level that the field started producing.

“Remember I stated earlier that the Atala license was issued in 2003. Thereafter, it was revalidated in 2013 during the early part of the Henry Seriake Dickson administration. But shortly after the revalidation of the license the grand conspiracy to take over the field began.

“In order to succeed, the Henry Seriake Dickson administration deliberately refused to fund the state-owned oil company.

“The management and staff of Bayelsa Oil Company (BOCL) were deliberately starved to a point that those of them who were unable to endure resigned and left.

“Thereafter, Henry Seriake Dickson appointed his cousin Mr. Ebikabowei Charles Dorgu as the Managing Director of Bayelsa Oil Company (BOCL). Mr Dorgu was appointed in 2017 and he served in that capacity until 2020.

“When the license of Atala Oil Marginal expired in 2019, Gov. Dickson and his cousin who was MD of BOCL deliberately refused to renew the license.

“But strangely and surprisingly too, the same Mr. Ebikabowei Charles Dorgu while still serving as Managing Director of Bayelsa Oil Company (BOCL) went ahead to register and incorporate HALKIN EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION LIMITED and assumed the position of Managing Director of the private company.

“The same Mr. Dorgu went further to forge documents purportedly transferring 41 percent share and ownership of Bayelsa Oil Company (BOCL) to Halkin E & P Limited in 2019 after the then Secretary of Bayelsa Oil Company (BOCL) Barr. Mark Oruah vehemently refused to write or sign the purported transfer after he was invited to Creek Haven Government House on several occasions and even offered some huge amounts of money to make him compromise.

“Because of the desperation of Mr. Ebikabowei Charles Dorgu and his cohorts, Barr. Mark Oruah wrote a formal letter to the Board Chairman of BOCL that was dated September 5, 2019, that he titled RE: SALE OF 41% OUT OF BOCL’S 51% PARTICIPATING INTEREST IN ATALA MARGINAL FIELD (OML. 46) TOGETHER WITH ITS OPERATORSHIP TO HALKIN GLOBAL INVESTMENT LIMITED (HGIL): MY UGLY EXPERIENCE.

“I have attached the above letter which is now a public document. The letter contains a detailed account of everything that transpired. It will further expose the many lies they have been struggling to use to deceive Bayelsans and unsuspecting members of the public.

“While the above drama was going on, the same people used their agents in the defunct DPR to write a letter that was dated April 6, 2020, that purportedly revoked the license of Atala Marginal Field and others.

“Based on the above, Marginal Field Operators Group (MFOG) formally wrote a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari to notify him about the ugly development and also appealed for the reinstatement of the revoked fields.

“Mr President responded positively in October 2020 by reinstating the fields including that of Atala OML 46.

“Surprisingly, Mr. Sarki Auwalu the then Head of the defunct Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) copied a memo dated 7th July 2021 to Chief Timipre Sylva the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources notifying him of a directive that President Muhammadu Buhari has given a nod for HALKIN EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION LIMITED to take over the reinstated Atala OML 46.

“It was later discovered that Halkin E & P Limited has shamelessly succeeded in deceiving and misleading the management of DPR that was saddled with the responsibility of issuing licenses.

“Halkin E & P Limited lied that it had invested over Sixty Million Dollars ($60,000,000.00) to revive the asset. Unfortunately, the management of DPR did not do due diligence before it entangled itself.

“Halkin Exploration and Production Limited had almost succeeded in converting and diverting the asset of Bayelsa State that belonged to all Bayelsans when the management of the Bayelsa Oil Company (BOCL) under the Acting Managing Director Mr. Bello Akpoku Macquen and Engr. Sike Sokari Ebimiyibaye; the HSE/Operational Manager and Barr. Mark Oruah; the Company Secretary alongside the managements of Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited (HONL) and Century Exploration and Production Limited through their Lawyers wrote a Petition to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions.

“The Senate Committee that is Chaired by Very Distinguished Senator Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central) with eminent senators like Senator James Manager, Senator Sam Egwu former Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Ereminyo, Senator Uche Ekwunife and other outstanding senators as members asked Halkin E & P Limited to produce Receipts and other financial correspondences to prove the ($60,000,000.00) which it purportedly claimed it spent on reviving the marginal field and a valid document that transferred the sale of 41% of share from BOCL and her partners to Halkin E & P Limited especially when all the partners were denying knowledge of any of such transaction. 

“At that point, it was a very clear case of abuse of public office and betrayal of public trust. It was a situation where an occupant of a public officeholder attempted to use his privileged position to convert and divert public assets to individuals.

“When Halkin E & P Limited saw that they have failed woefully in the Senate that was an unbiased Umpire in the case, they rushed to court to procure an injunction attempting to stop the continuation of the Senate Public Hearing.

“They forgot that the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (2011 As Amended) and the Doctrine of Separation of Power do not give any Court power to stop such probe and proceedings, the same way, the Senate cannot dabble into a matter that is also in any court of law.

“Simply put, the Senate has powers to entertain public petitions and complaints as long as the said petitions and cases are not before any Court of Law. On the same strength, such public hearings cannot be stopped abruptly by any Court Order that was instituted after the commencement of the Senate hearing. 

“During the public hearing, the Senate Committee also compelled the leadership of the newly established Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) which replaced the defunct DPR to produce a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari that directed the reallocation of Atala OML 46 to Halkin E & P Limited after the reinstatement.

“Unfortunately, like Halkin E & P Limited, the management of NUPRC that was represented by Dr. Kelechi Ofoegbu; the Executive Commissioner in-charge of Economic Relations and Strategies was unable to produce any letter that vetoed the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Based on the inability of Halkin E & P Limited and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to give concrete evidences to buttress their respective claims and positions, the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions formally revoked and voided the purported reallocation of Atala Marginal Field to Halkin E & P Limited that was done in bad faith.


“Two days to the verdict of the Senate Committee which was on 4th October 2022, Gov. Douye Diri paid a special visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in the company of our great father His Royal Majesty King Alfred Diette-Spiff; the first Military Governor of old Rivers State presently the Amanayanbo of Twon-Brass Kingdom and Special Royal Envoy to AFRIDU and Chairman of the African Diaspora Traditional Rulers Council, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson; former Governor of Bayelsa State and others.

“Gov. Douye Diri used the visit to make some requests and also appealed for Mr. President to use his position to return Atala Marginal Field to Bayelsa State. In his response, President Muhammadu Buhari assured the Governor of his proactive response.

“But the truth is that that visit was basically meant to do DAMAGE CONTROL and also save the face of the man that attempted to use his then privileged position to convert and divert the cherished and treasured asset of Bayelsa State and true to my position here, a faceless group that is on a face and image saving mission is lauding and commending the same man who appropriated our commonwealth and patrimony and succeeded in reducing Bayelsans to shadows of their old selves. They are celebrating the same man that described the capital of the state he ruled for 8years as FOREST CAPITAL despite the over Two Trillion that accrued to the state under his watch excluding external grants and donations.

“I have painstakingly stated the obvious truth and facts with relevant documents to prove all the issues I raised earlier that the faceless group that is embodiment of pathological liars and treacherous fellows wanted to twist. Thank you for the rapt attention.”

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