Court orders firm to pay Edo families N100m for land grabbing


A Fugar High Court presided over by Justice J. Aigbuloko Oyakhirome, has ordered Trinity Plantation Limited and five others to pay N100 million as damages to the Idinrio, Idumuboh and Uzebu families in Okaigben–Ewohimi, Esan South East Local Council of Edo State.

The court held that the defendants wrongly, forcefully and without authority invaded the claimants’ farmland.

Ruling on the matter, Justice Oyakhirome said: “The court has considered the impunity of the first and second defendants, their invasion of the claimants’ farmland and bulldozing same before seeking the consent of the wrong people.

“They also hid the real nature of agreement and preventing people from going near their farmland with armed guards.

“General damages are at large. Court awards general damages of N100 million against the defendants in favour of the claimants.

“The court decrees perpetual injunction restraining the defendants whether by themselves, agents, servants, nominees, representative from further acts of trespass unto claimants’ land.”

However, the court exempted the seventh and thirteenth defendants in the suit, being Chief Anthony Aisewomion and the Edo State Ministry of Lands, Survey and Housing from paying the damages.

The claimants in the suit No: HUB/12/2011, Prof. Joseph Okogun and nine others on behalf of the families sought a declaration that they were entitled to a customary right of occupancy over all the land having boundaries with Idumjuno and Idumujugboko communities in Aniocha North Local Council in Delta State and Ewatto and Idumu-Idumu-Agho clan in Okaigben Ewohimi, Edo State.

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