A Claimant, Mr. Sunday Omoriakhi,
has acquitted the embattled Priest of Okhuoromi Village in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, Ohen Ovbokhan Igbinovia accused of grabbing a disputed parcel of land.
Recall that a property developer, Mrs. Anne Esohe Iyoha, had alleged in a disturbing video that went viral on social media that the Ohen of Okhuoromi dispossessed her of land measuring 50 feet by 100 feet and erecting a perimeter fence on the property for his private use.
Addressing newsmen on the fierce battle of wits between the disputants, Omoriakhi, admitted that he was the person that erected a perimeter fence on the land.
He also condemned the unwarranted attacks on the Priest by attention-seeking hirelings on social media wanting to cause disaffection in the locality.
The Claimant alleged that he bought the land from one Mr. Joseph Igbinidu, an indigene of a neighbouring Egbirhe Village in 2010, during the boundary dispute between Okhuoromi and Egbirhe Villages.
He stated that following the Benin Monarch’s resolution which gave judgement in favour of Okhuoromi, and his subsequent meeting with the elders of the Village as the new owners of his land, an approval of ownership, dated October 30, 2018 was issued to him by Okhuoromi.
Omoriakhi explained that owing to his ill-health over the years, he was unable to attend to the land until recently he saw development going on in the land and decided to put a fence in order to identified the developer.
“When I saw the ongoing building in my land, I decided to fence the land so that the person erecting the building can come out.
“It was not the Ohen of Okhuoromi that fenced the land, but I did and I want the Public to know that the land in question rightfully belongs to me not Anne Esohe Iyoha”, he stressed.
Reacting to Iyoha’s allegation earlier, Ohen Ovbokhan Igbinovia, debunked the allegation in strong terms, maintaining that he has no dealings nor business with the claimant.
“I want to use this medium to inform the general public that we do not take peoples’ land in Okhuoromi and if she claim her land was fenced by somebody, she should go to the police station and report the matter or the court for redress.
He told newsmen that the same issue, Counsel to Igbinovia, Sir (Barr.) Edward Aibangbee, informed her that the allegation against the Ohen was purely to attack his (Ohen) integrity and also weep up sentiments in order to attract public hatred against the Ohen.
“If there is dispute anywhere, the courts are there for citizens of this country go and ventilate their angers and grievances for resolution. The social media is not an avenue for adjudication over dispute.
“As his lawyers, we have identified those behind the viral video, very soon, we will subject them to the ordeal of litigation so that they will come and defend what they have published.
“Because, to us, it is defamatory and an act that actually impeached the character and integrity of the Ohen who is our client”, he said
Speaking on behalf of the Village, one of the elders, Mr. Osagie Edosomwan, advised Claimants to the land to come to the Village with proof of ownership for peacefully resolution, clarifying that the land was earlier sold by Egbirhe not Okhuoromi.