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Okomu Oil Boss Destroying Our Land, Maltreating Our People’, Ukomu Natives Cry For Help

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…Accuse Him Of Land Grabbing

…Call On Edo, Federal Governments For Intervention

Ukomu and its adjoining communities have called on the Federal and Edo State governments to prevail on Dr. Graham Hefer, Managing Director, Okomu Oil Palm Company PLC, from destroying and seizure of their god-given land.

Hefer was also accused of environmental violation, maltreatment of host communities, encroaching and grabbing of the Ukomu National Park by his company.

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This call and revelations were made recently during a combined visit by journalists and civil society organisations to the communities and the National Park located in the Ukomu forest reserve of Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State.

Speaking to journalists in Ukomu, an elder in the clan, Chief Augustine Yanky, chided Dr. Hefer for what he called attempts to further destroy the Ukomu communities.

Chief Yanky, who is founder of Ekerikete community under Ukomu clan, specifically accused Hefer of destroying the only bridge at the expense of his company’s plantation which leads to the heartbeat of the clan.

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In his own part, Mr. Tony Okhale, Secretary of the Protection of Ukomu National Park and the Environment (PONPE), a civil society coalition, was also definite in his call to the Federal Ministry of Environment and the National Park Service to save the park from Dr. Hefer’s violation.

Also contributing, Mr. Olopele E. Olopele, a native of Nikorogha, lambasted the Okomu Oil boss for alleged destruction of the park, saying this is evidenced with the recent killing of a young rare elephant by workers of his company.

He joined Chief Yanky and others in calling on Edo State and Federal governments to immediately come to rescue the National Park and the local communities from the firm’s grip.

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The accusations against Dr. Hefer was also confirmed at Makilolo, one of the communities under Ukomu clan by the traditional head of the village and his second-in-command, respectively.

Both men told journalists that the village and several others live without basic socio amenities and services, stressing that either government nor Okomu Oil has provided them any amenities.

They also alleged threats of environmental hazards, seizure of their ancestral land and threats of eviction from the land by Dr. Hefer and his company.

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In corroborating the allegations, a fisherwoman (name withheld) who hails from the same Makilolo village, also alleged that the Okomu Oil, with Dr. Hefer as its present boss, had brought more hardship to her community than the past bosses of the plantation firm.

She accused Hefer of hostility to her village and the entire host forest communities, citing “unending harassment, demand for body pass, bodily search and flogging of the villagers by soldiers, on the order of Dr. Heifer”.

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Metro

Gunmen Kidnap Ondo Monarch, Police Launch Probe

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Some unknown armed men have reportedly kidnapped the traditional ruler of Oso Ajowa- Akoko, in Akoko North-West Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Clement Olukotun.

It was gathered that the monarch was abducted on Thursday at about 10.15pm, at his residence and taken to an unknown destination.

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A source narrated that when the gunmen stormed the residence of the victim, they shot sporadically into the air.

They also shot at the monarch’s main door to gain access into his residential building before whisking him away.

He said, “When they (hoodlums) got to the house, they surrounded the building and started ordering the monarch and other occupants to open the door and surrender willingly, but nobody answered. At this point, they started shooting.

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“They destroyed the main door and entered. They terrorised Kabiyesi and his family members before dragging him out and took him away. None of the family members had been contacted, but we knew they were kidnappers.”

The source, however, noted that nobody was killed during the operation which he said lasted for about 30minutes.

READ ALSO: Lawyer, Two Others Arraigned In Kogi Over Alleged N2.4m Fraud

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The Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, Mrs Funmilayo Odunlami confirmed the development, saying investigation has commenced into the matter.

“It is true but the details of the incident is still not clear. However, police from the Divisional Police headquarters at Oke-Agbe, headquarters of Akoko Northwest Local Government Area of Ondo State, have been deployed in the town to launch investigation into the incident”, the PPRO said.

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Woman Allegedly Sponsors Boyfriend’s UK Trip With Stolen Funds

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A 27-year-old woman, Busayo Alagbe, has been arraigned before the Yaba Magistrates’ Court, Lagos State, for allegedly forging bank documents and robbing her employer, Bridgeway Ventures, of N4.5m in the state.

Alagbe was charged with three counts bordering on the conversion of employer funds, stealing and forgery.

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The prosecutor, Godwin Oriabure, said the defendant committed the crime between July and November 2022, in the Gbagada area of the state, adding that during interrogation, she confessed to have used the stolen money to sponsor her boyfriend’s travelling expenses to the United Kingdom.

Oriabure told the court that the offence was contrary to and punishable under Section 287(b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

READ ALSO: Police Arraign Cryptocurrency Marketer Over Alleged N51.7m Fraud

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The charge read in part, “That you, Busayo Alagbe, between July and November 2022, at no 17 Olujobi Street, Gbagada Estate, Lagos, in the Yaba Magisterial District, did fraudulently convert the sum of Four-Million Five Hundred and Thirty One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Naira, property of Olayinka Blackshear and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 287(b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Magistrate A.O Salawu granted the defendant bail in the sum of N1m with two responsible sureties and adjourned the matter till January 19, 2023.

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Delta: Father Kills Daughter For Entering Neighbour’s Room

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A 25-year-old man, Godsgift Uweghwerhen, has been arrested for allegedly flogging his three-year-old daughter to death in Aladja community, in the Udu Local Government Area of Delta State.

It was gathered that Uweghwerhen was at home with his family members and neighbours when he saw his daughter coming out of the room of one of his neighbours.

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Uweghwerhen, who became annoyed by his daughter’s action, pounced on her and reportedly used a cane to beat, inflicting injuries on the victim’s body.

Uweghwerhen’s daughter was said to have died as a result of the beating and upon realising the gravity of his action, fled from the scene.

READ ALSO: Four Suspects Butcher Edo Man, Burn Corpse

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Luck, however, ran out of the victim’s father when vigilantes arrested him at Ubogo community and handed him over to policemen in Ovwian/Aladja Division.

Contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bright Edafe, confirmed the incident in a text message on Thursday.

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