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DELTA: Koko Families Say Gov. Uduaghan Acquired Hectares Of Land Illegally

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Asaba March 18, (THEWILL) - For allegedly acquiring about 2929.288 hectares of their land without due consultation and compensation, Major families in the proposed multi-million naira Export Processing Zone (EPZ) project in Koko, Delta State have given the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan a hard knock even as they accused the state government of illegal acquisition.

The families claimed that the government refused to pay compensation to them but leased the property to the firm handling the project, Colechurch International Limited for N69, 818,610.00 per annum. The aggrieved families said they would challenge the Certificate of Occupancy granted Colechurch International and the Environmental Impact Assessment Report, EIA, claiming the process did not follow due process.

Speaking on behalf of the families on Thursday was Chief Victor Nana, head of Iweroko and Ameron (Ugogomeje) family and flanked by heads of six other families.

They accused the Uduaghan led government of arrogance adding that when the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) exercise was carried out, the families were not consulted as stakeholders. Though excited about the numerous benefits the project would bring to the area they however want due process to be followed as it is done worldwide.

"The illegal acquisition of our land and subsequent government actions makes the EPZ seem like a stinking sausage or a pot of honey with dead flies.

"We are appealing to the Itsekiri nation, well meaning persons, the international and human rights community to come to their aid in this matter for the sake of peace and justice".

The family heads made reference to the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos where communities were compensated and thereafter an MOU was signed between the communities and government.

A Government House source in Asaba said Uduaghan and the families have resolved the dispute.