Key families in Okere-Urhobo on Monday took steps to foil the divisive and land grabbing plan of one Louis Okumagba.
They also urged the good people of Delta State and the general public to completely discountenance the false publication by Louis Okumagba.
‘’Louis Okumagba does not represent the interests of the families of Olodi, Oki and Ighogbadu of Okere-Urhobo’’
Heads and members of the Olodi, Oki and Ighogbadu families of Okere-Urhobo of Warri South spoke on prejudices of some local and foreign publishers on the land opposite Don Domingo College, Warri Monday morning.
Chief Gideon Okumagba, a representative of the three families, read the statement of the royal families aloud to newsmen.
The families accused Louis Okumagba of distortion and inciting fear in Delta State.
‘’The families of Olodi, Oki and Ighogbadu collectively owned landed properties in Warri’’
The Okere-Urhobo leaders said the land was acquired by the defunct Bendel State Government.
‘’The families are represented by Heads of the Kindred family and are the original owners of the land until it was acquired by the then Bendel State Government. The families currently have their administrative office at No 60 Okumagba Avenue Warri where they meet frequently to deal with issues on family lands and other related family matters’’
They offered an itemized and caustic indictment of Louis Okumagba’s behavior in Warri South.
‘’As one of the elders in the family, specifically as related to the false claims by Louis Okumagba, I am well abreast of the issues raised in that publication. The good people of Warri are not in any war or in a battle over the landed property opposite Don Domingo College, Warri, and it is very shameful that the said Louis is trying to incite tribal/ethnic battle in that publication’’.
They promised to file a libel suit against individuals and organizations publishing Louis Okumagba’s false narrative.
‘’It is not true that the Alema of Warri Kingdom, High Chief Emmanuel Oritsejolomi Uduaghan, used officials of the Delta State Government to intimidate and arrest Louis Okumagba. To be candid, it was Chief Gideon Okumagba that reported his criminal extortion of money from developers to the Police Area Commander Office in Warri’’.
The statement emphasized how the matter was dragged to the office of the Inspector General of Police Abuja.
‘’While the case was being deliberated on in Abuja, Louis Okumagba jumped bail and hurriedly filed a fundamental Human Rights Application against me, the Inspector General of Police and Chief Emmanuel Oritsejolomi Uduaghan at Warri High Court just to shield himself from being prosecuted for his criminal act. I equally filed a Counter application in that case and at the end the Judgment was resolved in my favour while his Fundamental Human Rights Application was dismissed with cost. Louis has been a fugitive. Since that judgment, he has not been seen within Warri’’.
Particularly, the families accused Louis Okumagba of trying to sow discord amongst Deltans through falsehood.
‘’Louis Okumagba claimed that he has been in the forefront of the land in dispute is false and misrepresentation of facts. And the alleged grabbing of over 30 hectares of land by the Okowa Government led by High Chief Emmanuel Oritsejolomi Uduaghan is equally false. The land was acquired by the then Bendel state for public purposes. The Delta State government has since done the needful by releasing/returning parts of the land to the Olodi, Oki and lghogbadu families who are the rightful owners. 4.6 hectares of land was released to the family on the 26 day of June 1988 and another part of the unused land was released to the Olodi, Oki and 1ghogbadu families on the 14 of January 2000. Also, the Olodi, Oki and Ighogbadu families have an agreement with the Government of Delta State over the remaining parts of the land’’
The families told news men there was zero evidence for Louis Okumagba claims of land grabbing.
‘To be more specific, the remaining portion of the land was released to Seriviri Nigeria Limited wherein Chief Emmanuel Oritsejolomi Uduaghan is one of the directors of that company and the said company also have an agreement with the families and half of the land was released to the families. Indeed, the three families benefited from the land including Louis Okumagba ’’.
They scolded Louis Okumagba for rendering a real disservice.
‘’There was never any consultation by Louis Okumagba with the well-known families of Olodi, Oki and Ighogbadu before that Publication was made by him. It’s a futile attempt to incite the Urhobo and Itsekiri into a needless bickering. There is no dispute as far as the land in this narrative is concerned. The said Louis should avail himself to enable the police conclude their investigation in the crime levied against him. The land in question belongs to the Olodi, Oki and lghogbadu families of Okere-Urhobo and he should stop spreading false claims and division among the families and tribes in Delta State. If there are disputes in any land owned by these families, it is the heads and members of the family who will collectively decide to institute an action in court’’.