Court restrains Edo govt from taking over community land

Court restrains Edo govt from taking over community land

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An Edo State High Court has granted an interim injunction restraining the Edo State government from taking over the pieces of land belonging to Oke-Oroma Community in the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area pending the determination of motion ex parte brought before it by the community.

In a suit marked B/61/22 between Gaius Emokpae and five others on behalf of the people of Oke-Oroma village as Claimants/Applicants and the governor of Edo State, Attorney General of Edo State and the Edo State Geographic Information Service as Defendants, the community wanted the court to grant interim injunction to stop the defendants from “trespassing on, encroaching, bulldozing or developing” their land measuring 714.750 hectares or doing anything that was inconsistent with their rights.

Counsel to the claimants, Kinglsey Obamogie, said the government and its agents had been threatening his clients through publications in the media and other means of communication that they would destroy their crops and bulldoze their ancestral homes, which, he alleged, the defendants would sell them to individuals for their personal interests.

In her ruling, Justice Vestee Eborieme said, “I have gone through the motion and the affidavit in support and the summary of the position of the applicants, which is that the defendant is set to commence the destruction of their assets. It should not be forgotten that the rationale for ex parte application is to prevent an imminent irretrievable damage or injury to the substance. Therefore, I answer in the affirmative for the issues presented for determination in favour of the applicant and I order as follows: I give an interim injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, agents from further encroaching, bulldozing the lands or destroying the applicant’s landed properties in Oke-Oroma community pending the determination of the motion on notice.”

In his reaction, Obamogie said the ruling was a demonstration of the court’s commitment to the rule of law.

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