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Delta State Court Indicts Army with N1 million Fine, Repossess 1975 Unlawfully Acquired Land

A Delta State High Court in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area, has issued a landmark ruling against the Nigerian Army, fining them one million naira and declaring their acquisition of parts of Ohore 1 land null and void. Presided over by Justice Roli-Daibo Harriman, the court deemed the Army’s invasion of Ohore 1 land as trespass and affirmed the community’s entitlement to statutory right of occupancy over the entire land.

The ruling, stemming from a lawsuit filed by members of the Ohore 1 community, underscores the importance of due process and compliance with relevant laws in land acquisition.

Led by activist Chief Victor Otomiewo, lawyers for the claimants argued that the acquisition of Ohore 1 land lacked due process and violated constitutional rights. The court sided with the claimants, restraining the Army from further trespassing on the land.

Originally acquired by the Nigerian Army in 1975 for the construction of Effurun Barracks, the unused portion of the land became subject to unauthorized transactions, exacerbating tensions between the Army and the community.

Notably, the land dispute traces back to the absence of compensation to the families who owned the land, as required by law at the time of acquisition. The community, feeling marginalized by subsequent unauthorized transactions and exploitation of the land, welcomed the court’s decision with jubilation.

IMAGE: Thecable

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