Governor Godwin Obaseki re-affirms his commitment against illegal possession and sales of lands in Benin City.

Elder Ikpomwosa Akewe, the third elder of Evboro community in Ovia North East, has been ordered to appear before the Edo State Private Properties Protection Committee (EPPPC) over allegations of land grabbing in the state.

The 94- years-old man has been ordered by the chairman of the committee, Justice Alero Edodo-Eruaga (Rtd), to appear before the court on August 17, 2023.

His Royal Highness, Aiyeki Festus Osagiede, the Enogie of Iguogie and the head of the five neighbouring communities; Evboro, Iguogie, Iguotor, Iguedobor, and Okhonmwenre in Ovia North-East LGA of Edo state, had earlier written a petition to the committee.

The petition alleged that some youths in collaboration with elder Ikponmwonsa Akewe connived and sold a large portion of Iguogie-Evboro community land in Ovia North-East LGA of the state to the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Cooperative, Edo branch.

His Royal Highness, further revealed that the last recognized Odionwere of Evboro, the late Elder Peter Oghayerio, passed on on July 24, 2021. While the second in command to the late Odionwere, and the present acting Odionwere is a 98-year-old Elder Alfred Emwinyomweanru.

It was gathered that Alfred Emwinyomweanru, in the capacity as the acting Odionwere, would qualify him to be crowned the Odionwere of Evboro by the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare ll, after three years of the last Odionwere demise.

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This can only be done three years after the demise of the last Odionwere, the late Elder Peter Oghayerio.

However, Festus Osagiede who was present before the committee with the acting Odionwere, Alfred Emwinyomweanru, said that he initially reported the matter to the Oba of Benin’s palace but was asked to address the issue, which led him to write a petition to the committee.

According to him, Akewe is the third in command. He said Akewe is claiming to be the Odionwere of Evboro Community illegally.

Festus Osagiede also pointed out that Akewe single-handedly sold the land to the NMA co-operative, without his notice, and Akew has no legal or customary standing over activities in the Evboro community.

Justice Alero Edodo-Eruaga (Rtd), head of the committee, has therefore directed the Nigeria Police Force to ensure Akewe appears before the panel on the next adjourned date of August 17, 2023.

Speaking earlier, the Police IPO to the case, Inspector Balogun, told the committee that the respondent, Akewe, was absent because of another court case at State High Court in Okada, Benin City.