The Community Development Associations CDA in communities and villages in Edo State seem to have staged a deadly comeback against the backdrop of the position of the the palace of the Oba of Benin and Edo State Government on land allocation, land grabbing and double dealing on land matters.
The latest, among hundreds of such victims who are helpless and have lost their lands and property to the avarice of the CDA leadership is the Former Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council and Principal Editor, Sparknewsnaija, Otunba Mike Aladenika, who at a press conference in Benin City alleged that the Ohen of Okhuoromi village in Benin City, Chief Ovbokhan Igbinovia trespassed “on my land measuring 100 × 100 feet at Okhuoromi, destroyed the foundation of two blocks of three bedroom flats built up to DPC level and sold the land to someone else”.
Otunba Mike Aladenika who was presented a video playback of relics of the destroyed property, his petition to relevant authorities among other documents said “I am forced to cry out now because I have realized that there are hundreds of Otunba Mike Aladenika out there who have suffered the same victimisation but were helpless”.
“Can you imagine that the same Ohen validly allocated the said land to his cousin, Uyi Enadeghe, who sold the said land to me, to the knowledge of the Ohen as he personally facilitated the documentation and signing of the deed of transfer, years back”.
“The Ohen collected his traditional respect and acknowledgement from me, while the Okaighele (youth leader) collected the sum of hundred thousand naira (100,000 Naira) from me in lieu of the required traditional cooking and they asked me to commence work on the land”.
“All these happened about three years ago. Between then and December 2020, there was no contention on the land until the Ohen, Chief Ovbokhan Igbinovia, came to encroach, destroyed and resold the land to one Uche”.
The former NUJ Chairman while fielding questions from journalists on efforts made to retrieve his property before now said “I have approached so many well meaning Edo citizens to talk to him to make him see reason. A principal officer of the Benin Traditional Council (BTC), top political leaders and some of his friends who were privy to my ownership of the land called and severally met with him all to no avail”.
“Rather for him to retrace his steps even when some people told him that his action to have demolished foundation is a forbidden act, he said he is the one that can determine whatever happens in his domain, stressing that he is not subject to any other authorities”.
“My fear now is that my life is been threatened because I am asking for what rightly belongs to me but I have my mind made up that I will not give up on this crusade as this will also liberate many who are currently suffering the same issue.”
Calls put across to the Ohen to get his own side of the story were neither answered nor replied.