A transporter based in Abakaliki, Mr. Oke Cletus Orji has called on all concerted authorities to assist him to facilitate replacement of his only means of income allegedly destroyed by the son of the former governor of Lagos State, Chief Femi Otedola, the owner of Forte oil PLC.
The transporter who plies Abakaliki to Onitsha in Anambra State on daily basis conveying farm produce mainly bush mango “ogbono” to make a living on 2nd day of June 2018 at a place known as Agu- Akwa divinely escaped death but lost his Hiace Toyota commercial bus, his means of income to inferno caused by a tanker belonging to Forte oil.
Narrating his ordeal to Citizens’ Advocate, Mr. Orji who has been out of business since the ill fated day, explained that on his way to make a delivery for his customers in Onitsha in Anambra state, his bus burst into flames after Forte oil truck hit it.
He said, “On the 1st day of June 2018, I was hired by traders to carry their goods from Onueke in Ebonyi State to Onitsha, Anambra state. On getting to Agu-Akwa, I decided to have a brief stopover to ease myself and buy some foodstuffs and beverages for my family. I carefully parked my hiace bus with registration number AAA 224 XN in the park near Juhel filing station and left.”
“Suddenly, I heard a loud bang which startled everyone and pandemonium ensued as people ran for safety. A tanker belonging to Forte oil PLC carrying petroleum product lost control, crashed into my parked bus and both went ablaze including the full load of ogbono. Looking towards where I parked my bus, I saw vividly my bus going in flames alongside the tanker loaded with petroleum product. That was the only thing I knew that happened that day because I lost consciousness at the sight of gravity of the damage.
“Since the incident, I have made several appeals and efforts to both the Chief Femi Otedola and Management of Forte Oil PLC to at least replace my burnt vehicle to save my family from the hardship we are facing, but all is yet to bear any fruit. The owners of the burnt goods are also on my neck.”
“When I felt that maybe they may not have received my repeated messages or have decided to ignore my calls for compensation, I headed to the High Court in Awka judicial division to file a suit on the 30th of August last year demanding that the defendants should replace my bus, pay for the burnt goods and income I should have made within the period I was rendered jobless.”
“To ensure that the mails sent to the company and the then CEO were properly delivered by DHL freights, I tracked the delivery which was completed by 3:41pm on Tuesday 31st July 2018 through waybill number 5897269464 and was received and duly signed on behalf of the defendants by a security staff in the company head office identified as Rhama.”
“Despite all these efforts, it seems Chief Femi Otedola used his affluence to co-opt the whole management of Forte oil PLC to disrespect the court summons and not to pay any attention to me, which is why I am using this medium to plead to concerted authorities, corporate bodies, well meaning individuals to mediate on my behalf to compel the defendants to do the needful to alleviate my plights posed by the incident.”
“Just recently I got information that one Mr. Abul Wasiu Sowami the founder and CEO of Prudent Energy and Services bought over Forte oil PLC and have even constituted the board of Directors with Mr. Olamide Adeosun as the Chief Executive Officer.”
“I therefore appeal to the new management of Forte Oil PLC, especially the chairman Mr. Abudlwasiu Sowami to please do the right thing by exhuming the records of said incident on Orient daily newspaper of Monday 4th June 2018 page 19, and see the reasons why I should be heard and compensated for the vital loss.”
Mr. Orji described the situation as unbelievable that Chief Otedola could see a struggling man drowning because of the problem caused by one of his fleet of vehicles and still kept mute despite the fact that he is in high cadre of rich persons in Nigeria according to Forbes international.