Mr. Larry Otu, the Managing Director of Lym Consults Nigeria Limited based in Warri, Delta state, has claimed that Opeans Nigeria Limited which operates a safety training centre in Opete, Udu council area that was recently sealed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was having credibility issues.
He said that the company was discovered to be running alleged fake international safety certification courses in which they purportedly used to scam unsuspecting oil and gas industry workers.
Mr. Otu spoke following denial by proprietor of the Opeans Nigeria Limited that his company was sealed by EFCC over “issuance of the fake International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) certification”.
Otu claimed that enquires from the United States headquarters of IADC has proved beyond all reasonable doubts that the Opeans Nigeria Limited had been operating the training programmes in Nigeria illegally.
Besides, he claimed that the Executive Director of Opeans, Dr. Ben Nwoye, had been barred by the Supreme Court in the US from practicing law any part of the world due to series of alleged criminal indictments that he was involved in while resident in the USA.
But the Executive Director of Opeans Nigeria Limited, Dr. Ben Nwoye, who had earlier briefed newsmen on the allegation, dismissed the claims as handiwork of his competitors in business.
He said that all the allegations against him and his company by the said Larry Otu were frivolous, baseless and targeted to discredit his business and reputation.
In a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday, Otu said; “On the issue of IADC certification forgery by Ben Nwoye and his company Opeans Nigeria Limited, I personally wrote via email to IADC headquarters in Houston, Texas to verify if Opeans Nigeria Limited is truly IADC approved to deliver Basis Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET), Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET), Survival at Sea (SAS)”.
“We were all shocked when the IADC Vice President Accreditation Operations, Mark Denkowski replied that Opeans Nigeria Limited is not an IADC accredited training provider”.
“It has also been further established in our investigations that IADC does not even offer the BOSIET and HUET program as claimed by Opeans Nigeria Limited and other trainng centres operating in the country”.
“That, the use of the IADC logo on training certificate by Opeans Nigeria Limited is an abuse of the IADC and its logo”.
“So, let the world ask Ben Nwoye and his Company Opeans Nigeria Limited from where they obtained the IADC accreditation that they have used to defraud millions of Naira from innocent Oil and Gas workers”.
“It may also interest you to know that Ben Nwoye, who parades himself around as a US trained lawyer had been disbarred from practicing law by the Supreme Court of Illinois, US due all of forms of sharp practices while resident in the US.
“On the issue of EFCC investigating Opeans Nigeria Limited over the IADC certificate forgery, That, him, or any other training provider, or the DPR who now know that Ben Nwoye and Opeans Nigeria Limited are issuing forged and fraudulent IADC certificates and defrauding millions of Naira from Oil and Gas workers could have petitioned the EFCC”.
“We all know the position of President Buhari and the current leadership of the EFCC on corruption. That issue bothering on corruption and fraud are not handled with kid’s glove”.
“That, if Ben Nwoye and Opeans Nigeria Limited truly have IADC Accreditation to offer BOSIET, HUET and SAS trainings, which they have being doing for years, they should not be crying on the pages of newspaper or social media. But, they should simply display their ‘IADC Accreditation’ for all to see”.
But Nwoye had earlier told journalists that Larry Otu was out to discredit him to have monopoly of the safety training business in Warri.
He said that the petitions against him by Otu had been investigated by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) which gave his company its operational license, saying that both EFCC and DPR had found no dirt about their operations.
“Larry Otu is the Chief Executive of Lym Consults, another offshore training firm in Warri. It didn’t come to me as a surprise as the same petition had already gone to DPR. I have been investigated by DPR on the same allegation and they found no reason to shut down the centre”.
But in swift response to this allegation, Mr. Larry Otu said, “Lym Consults Nigeria Limited, which operates the only OPITO Approved/Certified Training Organization in Warri, Delta State, the company would not join issues with a company like Opeans Nigeria Limited, which the entire Nigeria Oil and Gas industry have come to realize that they issue fake, forged and fraudulent International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) certificates”.
He explained that OPITO is the global Oil and Gas Standard for training and skills, adding that his company, Lym Consults Nigeria Limited is the only Offshore Safety Training Center in Delta State that has obtained such global certification”.