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Published On: Thu, Feb 2nd, 2017

Destruction of Shrines: Okowa’s Kinsmen Sue Delta Govt N50bn …We Shall Meet in Court- DTSG

Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa

Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa

Ddelta State,Ifeanyi Okowa Ki
By Barth Ndego
LAGOS FEBRUARY 2ND (URHOBOTODAY)-The people of Owa-Ekei community and the home town of Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State, have instituted a legal action against the state government over the alleged destruction of their ancestral shrines and other historical traditional values..
The Governor’s kinsmen alleged Delta state government through its agents, infringed on their rights by unlawfully invading their ancestral shrines which includes tombs, monuments and other traditional values.

In a suit no 11/106/02/DTSHC/ instituted at the High Court in Asaba, Delta State, Owa Ekei people through their lawyer, Barr. Chris Ehianuka, alleged that the state agents also encroached on the sources of the community’s protection and inspiration, adding that the Okpara-Uku, Elders in Council, Chiefs and other of the community met and resolved to seek redress at the law court hence the state government allegedly refused to tender apology and pay compensation of N50billion within 21 days ultimatum issued on it.
Representatives in the suit for the community includes; Mr. Francis Obihian, Mr. Samuel Ahanor, Mr. Raphael Agede, Mr. Onyeka Iraiwu, Mr. Lucky Onyebigwa and Ikechukwu Elelegu.
It is affirmed in the writ of summon that sometime in the month of December 2016, the Delta State Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Chief Dan Okenyi and his agents allegedly invaded the community (Owa Ekei) lands and bulldozed individual farmlands, their property, lands housing the community’s ancestral shrines, tombs, monuments including herbs and farms. Under the claim that the land belong to the government.
The writ further alleged that the agents including the Commissioner who supervised the act, claimed they were acting on the instructions of the Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
One of the community elder, Chief Edward Obano who spoke to Urhobotoday.com correspondent said it was a taboo and abomination to see their shrines destroyed by persons who claimed to be agents of the state government, adding that several letters of complaints to state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa on the destruction of their shrines fell on deaf ears.
The elder statesman said they were convinced that Governor Okowa had no hand in such unlawful act perpetuated by the Commissioner, Chief Dan Okenyi and his cohorts, stressing that it could be mastermind by yet unidentified persons.
The community’s elders further revealed that the Chief Priests of the shrines were chased away by aggrieved bees following the alleged destruction of the shrines, indication that the gods were angry and have been rendered homeless.
In swift reaction, the Delta State Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Chief Dan Okenyi dispelled all allegations against him as untrue, saying that officials of the Ministry of Lands and Survey under the mandate to recover government lands and property carried out their civic duties in Owa-Ekei community.
He explained that it was not the business of the officials to know whether there were shrines or not in government’s lands. “There is no cause for alarm, we shall meet in court when the time comes” he added.

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