April 20, 2024

Land Grabbing: “Shun Hostility, Be Reasonable in Your Demands” – Edo State PPPC Charges Parties

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…Hears 28 cases

By Simeon OSAJIE

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In the face of the general economic situation in the country which has almost crippled activities all over the nation, a situation made even more difficult by the scarcity or high cost of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS), parties in land disputes have continued trouping into the office of the Edo State Private Properties Protection Committee at Government House to file in their petitions.

The economic quiet has, in no way, stopped hundreds of petitions in land disputes which are being received on daily basis by the Committee from various communities in Edo State.

An average of 20 cases, each day, is heard by the Committee while landmark resolutions are being made.

During its sitting today,  Monday, February 13, the Committee heard 28 cases out of which 6 were on fresh commencement while  reports were heard from the Police Commandant in charge on the  peaceful settlement and legal resolution of several cases that came up for hearing.

Terms of agreement,  part of which was compensation payment  by some Respondents,  was also heard, even as the Committee advised paying parties to try to accelerate the compensation payment. 

A case between Mr. Moses Omoruwa Vs. Raphael Idahosa and Idahor Edosa was reported on Legal Advice.

Meanwhile, the Committee has tasked parties to be reasonable in their demands during settlement.

While hearing the terms of settlement in the case of Igiehon Family Vs. Osarenkhoi Okungbowa, Odionwere of Adesagbon Community, the Committee tasked the representatives of Adesagbon Community on showing more understanding in the sharing formula over the  portion of land in dispute. 

In the case in reference,  the Adesagbon community stated it will take 150 Plots of land out of the 250 in dispute and leave a 100 plots for the other party.

While the Adesagbon Community was unwilling to shift ground in their suggested sharing formula,   the offer also clearly did not go down well with the Petitioner and he expressed same to the Committee.

Elders of Adesagbon Community present at the hearing were addressed on their stance.

“It is important for you to be reasonable in your demands.” Hon. Justice Alero Edodo-Eruaga (Rtd), Chairman,  Edo State Private Properties Protection Committee stated.

“You are selling the land in your community to every Tom, Dick and Harry. You don’t know who will help you develop your community through the investments they have made in the land. The farm in this disputed portion  will help your community. People are gainfully employed working in the farm, the palm produce from the farm is helping the state and the nation at large. If you go to bulldoze everything,  how does it help you?”

The Committee also advised the Community not to undermine state authority in taking their decisions during settlement and warned both parties against demonstrating hostility during meetings for settlement.

“As much as the clamour for peaceful coexistence among people living in our communities, Government is also interested in the development which these farms attract to the state. So, we advice you to share the plots with consideration for all who are involved, both the Igiehons and individual families and then the development to our state.”

The matter was adjourned till March 20 when parties are expected to have revisited the community, taken stock and reconciled their differences. 

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