–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA):
The Delta State Government has appealed to protesting Core Area 2B Landlords Association whose property were demolished by suspected agents an Asaba-based company over ownership of lands in the area.
The landlords numbering no fewer than 100 mounted protest at the main gate of Government House on Thursday, calling on the government to wade into the matter.
They said that the “agents’’ had in the past one month been demolishing houses and other property in the area on grounds their principal won a suit over the area.
They claimed that those responsible for the act had threatened to return on Friday to continue the demolition.
In a protest letter addressed to Secretary to the State Government, Mr Chiedu Ebie, and signed by their Chairman, Mr Odiaka Sonwu and Secretary, Mr Charles Umejei, the protesters said “We are law-abiding citizens of Delta who bought lands and built our houses opposite Asaba Airport, Vanguard Area and Marble Hill in Okpanam.
“In 2016 and 2017, the State Government gave us a notice that the entire area had been acquired by government, and that led to some negotiations and the government asked us to pay Regularisation fees and get Certificate of Occupancy (CofO).
“However, on May 5, 2019, a certain fellow came up with a seven-day notice that the same area belongs to former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, who bought the land from Umuodafe, Ibusa.
“He added that Umuodafe Ibusa defeated Okpanam community in the Supreme Court, as such that his principal has 240 plots of land in the same area.’’
They added that the new claimer to ownership of the land led hoodlums and armed policemen to invade and bulldoze over 100 homes on Nov. 20, 2019.
“So we have come here today to register our frustrations on the unfavourable condition of living and to prevent future occurrence while we wait for the law to take its full course,” they stated in the letter.
Addressing them, the SSG, Mr Chiedu Ebie, in company with Commissioners for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, his Lands counterpart, Mr Churchill Amagada and Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, thanked the protesters for their peaceful conduct.
He promised that government would look into their complaints with a view to resolving all issues.
“As a government, we have a responsibility to continue to provide for our citizens and to protect lives and property.
“As you know, we all live, exist and co-exist within the ambit of the law, so we are going to look at this.
“We heard about the demolitions and if somebody has a judgement, he must execute such judgment within the confines of the law.
“But, if there are ulterior motives for the demolition, be assured that as a government and as a state, we will protect you at all times.
“The best thing we need to do now is to sit down with all stakeholders and look at the documents to find out who has valid title to the disputed lands,” he said.
Ebie, therefore, advised the people to send some representatives to his office to discuss the issues immediately