Okomu Oil Boss Destroying Our Land, Maltreating Our People’, Ukomu Natives Cry For Help
…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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
Troops Neutralize 6 Bandits, Recover Arms In Kaduna
Six bandits have been eliminated in a gunfight while several arms and ammunitions were equally recovered, following a raid on bandit/terrorists hideout by Special Forces of Defence headquarters and troops of Operation Forest Sanity,
Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Musa Danmadami who this made this known in a statement said the enclaves was destroyed.
He said, “On Friday 9 June 2023, troops of Operation Forest Sanity in conjunction with the Defence Headquarters Special Forces conducted covert operation to bandits enclaves at Maidaro village in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State and made contact with terrorists.
“In an ensued fire fight, troops neutralized six (6) terrorists and recovered five (5) AK 47 rifles, One Hundred and Ninety Two (192) rounds of 7.62 by 39 mm Special ammunitions.
READ ALSO: Troops Kill Scores Of Bandits, Recover Arms, Ammunition In Zamfara
Also recovered were Seventy Four (74) rounds of 7.62 by 54mm Special, Nine (9) AK 47 rifle magazines, three (3) IEDs, three (3) Baofeng radios, One (1) PKM, three (3) motorcycles amongst other sundry items.
“The military high command commends troops of Operation Forest Sanity and encourages the general public to avail troops with credible and timely information on terrorist and all criminal activities within their area.”
Tragedy As Man Kills Pregnant Wife In Edo
A bereaved father, Samuel Adun, has offered to pay N100,000 to anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of his son-in-law, identified simply as Inuaghata.
Inuaghata was alleged to have killed his pregnant wife, Osaretin.
Adun told journalists in Benin on Friday that his daughter had three children for the suspect.
READ ALSO: Delta: Commuter Dies In Crash, Police Seek Relatives
He noted that he was called that his daughter was killed by her husband, adding that Inuaghata had gone into hiding since May 24 when the incident happened.
He said, “I hail from Orhionmwon Local Government Area. My daughter was killed by her husband. She was 23 years old. The incident happened at Egba on May 24.
“I do not understand the problem they had that led to the killing of my daughter. I was called that my daughter was killed. He used a knife to slit her throat; she was pregnant when she was killed. I want the boy arrested.
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“I will give anybody N100,000 for information that can lead to the arrest of the suspect. The boy had not formally married my daughter. His parents are both dead. I have called his brother that he ran away after killing my daughter.”
The Edo State Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, said the matter had not been brought to his attention.
Delta: Commuter Dies In Crash, Police Seek Relatives
The Delta State Police Command has sought help in locating the family members and friends of a commuter killed in a crash in the state.
The deceased, according to the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bright Edafe, was involved in an accident along the Illah-Asaba Expressway by Ngegwu Market.
The accident reportedly involved a Toyota Sienna with the number plate, JRV 398 ZY, driven by one Chima Uzor, who collided with a motorcycle rider.
READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tragedy, Many Injured As Bus Conveying Intending Saudi Pilgrims Crashes In Abuja
The PPRO, in a signed statement on Friday, said the corpse was deposited in the St. James Hospital Mortuary, Illah.
The police spokesman urged any person who knew the victim, his parents, friends or other relatives to report at Motorpol Asaba, St. James Hospital Mortuary, Illah, or the police headquarters, Asaba, for possible identification and collection of the body.
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