Justice Abubakar Malami Memo:
 The Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Justice Abubakar Malami has advised the National Assembly not to change the name of Maritime University, Okerenghigho to Okerenkoko, Delta State, as proposed in a bill to the National Assembly.
In a memo from the office of the Attorney General, signed by H.A. Tahir, on behalf of the AGF, dated October 17, 2017, to the Clerk of the National Assembly, the AGF urged the National  Assembly not to alter the name and  location of the University from Okerenghigho, based on the fact that the name Okerenkoko was corrupted by the Ijaw, who were tenants in the community.
The memo titled : Re- A Bill to Establish Maritime University Which Seeks to Change the Name of the University Community from Okerenghigho to Okerenkoko, stated in part : “I am directed to draw your attention to the issues raised by the counsel for the youth wing of the Itsekiri community, Lawrence E. Erewele & Co, on the above subject matter.
“The Federal Ministry of Justice is in receipt of a correspondence from the aforementioned on the above subject matter, appealing for the intervention of the Honourable Attorney-General and Minister of Justice on the issue of a  Bill for the establishment of Maritime University, Okerenkoko, which apparently is an incorrect name for the community where the university is to be located.
“In his appeal for change of the name of the university from “Maritime University, Okerenkoko” to “Maritime University, Okerenghigho,” the counsel attached:
—a letter by the Itsekiri National youths Council, NYC, to the National Assembly protesting the Bill bearing incorrect name of the community where the university is to be situated; and
— a Supreme Court decision in the matter of James Uluba & Others vs Chief E.E. Sillo & Others, which is fundamental to the cause of changing the name of the communituy on the Bill.
Tahir observed that: “Having read through the annexures to the correspondence, I observed the following:
“The proposed Maritime University is situated in an area belonging to the Itsekiri community in Delta State, “Okerenghigho”. Apprentely, “ Okerenghigho is the aboriginal name of this community, while “Okerenkoko” is the corruption of the name by the Ijaw settlers in that community.
“The Supreme Court in James Uluba & Ors vs Chief E.E. Sillo & Ors, affirmed the decision of the trial court, declaring further that the Ijaw who by virtue of their ancestor “Akpata” settled in that community, are the customary tenants of the Itsekiri, whose ancestors founded the Okerenghigho community.
Therefore, Tahir recommended that:
“In the light of the judicial pronouncement, the situs of the Maritime University and the need to avert any ethnic crises which may erupt should the Bill for the Establishment of the Maritime University be allowed to bear the opposed name “Okerenkoko,” I wish to advice that the National Assembly effect the necessary changes to reflect the aboriginal name “Maritime University, Okerenghigho.”
January 5, 2018
Our attention has just been drawn to a publication in the Vanguard newspaper of Friday, January 5, 2017 at page 12 wherein one H. A. Tahir, an officer in the office of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice issued a memo to the effect that the correct name of the community hosting the Nigerian Maritime University should be Okerenghigho and not Okerenkoko. The Attorney General is said to have given the advise on the strength of a supreme court judgment. The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) wishes to responds as follows to set the records straight THAT:
1.  The site or community wherein the Nigerian Maritime University is situated has never been known, addressed or called Okerenghigho at any time. The actual, historical and legally recognized name of the host community to the Nigerian Maritime University is Okerenkoko. The name Okerenkoko is reflected in all historical and political documents and institutions including the Okerenkoko Primary School, Okerenkoko Secondary School, Okerenkoko electoral ward in all electoral documents, Okerenkoko General Hospital etc.
2.  There is no community known as Okerenghigho within and around the area where the Nigerian Maritime University is situated. Therefore, the purported Supreme Court case of James Uluba and others v. Chief E. E. Sillo has nothing to do with the land wherein the Nigerian Maritime University is situated.
3.  It is now obvious and crystal clear that the Buhari led administration does not want the Nigerian Maritime University to start academic activities hence this new diversionary strategy to cause unnecessary inter-ethic crisis in the area wherein the university is situated and the Niger Delta at large. The federal government is obviously coming up with this strategy because their earlier tactics to use corruption to stop the take-off of the institution has failed.
4.  We strongly believe that the federal government wants to instigate another round of crisis in the Niger Delta region just as it is using Fulani herdsmen to instigate crisis to kill people innocent citizens all over the country especially in the middle belt region.
5.  The Ijaw Nation state that the name of the site of the Nigerian Maritime University is and would remain Okerenkoko. There is no amount of misrepresentation that can change the name from the actual name to Okerenghigho or any other name. It is elementary knowledge that institutions all over the world are known by the name of the place where it is situated and not otherwise.
6.  We strongly call on the National Assembly to ignore the memo from the office of the Attorney General as it was done in bad faith so as to instigate another round of crisis in the Niger Delta region. If the federal government is not interested in the take-off of the Maritime University, it should say so expressly and not instigate another crisis in the Niger Delta region.
7.  It would be recalled that during the public hearing on the bill to establish the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, similar presentation was made by the Itsekiri delegation but it was rightly ignored by both houses of the National Assembly. Consequently, we thank the National Assembly for standing on the side of truth and urge that the already passed bill be presented for Presidential assent.
Signed for the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC)
Eric Omare,
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