By Emma Amaize
SAPELEâ€”THERE was a twist at the weekend concerning a petition by Mrs. Ejueyitichie Oroye family of Sapele, Delta State, to the Assistant Inspectorâ€“General of Police, Zone 5, Benin City, over alleged illegal invasion of a family property at 6, Boyo Road, Sapele, by Mr. Joseph Atenyiku, published in the Vanguard edition of November 25.
Solicitors to the family, Prof Itse Sagay (SAN) had, in the letter to the AIG, stated that Mrs. Oroye, a retired school principal, was a co-administrator to the family and that Mr. Atenyiku, probably acting as a front to a security aide to the state governor, Mr. Michael Diden, on 15 November 2009, deployed soldiers and mobile policemen to the property to beat up the occupants and destroy their property, generally causing mayhem in the area.
But Mr. Clover Emakpor Usen, who claims to be the rightful owner and a grandson of Mrs. Ukuejubola Ajokan, the original buyer of the property, told newsmen at a news conference at Sapele that it was not a family property, as claimed by the Oroye family.
He said his late mother, Natemi Amabamije, was the only child and heir of his grandmother and that the documents which Mrs.Oroye and othersÂ are parading as conferring the status of administrators of the said property were fallacious and spurious fabrications.
Usen said, as the rightful owner of the house, he followed due process in evicting the tenants before he took steps to restructure and renovate the premises, adding that statutory notices were duly issued to all the tenants after which they were paid a reasonable sum of money as compensation.
He maintained that neither the Police nor the ArmyÂ was deployed to displace the tenants in his premises and that the security agents that came to the property â€œwere on routine patrol, and they merely stopped by, asked routine questions and left.â€
Usen said accusing fingers should not be pointed at innocent persons, among them a security aide to the governor, Mr. Michael Diden, and Mr. Atseyinku, by the Oroye family.
He said:Â Â â€œLet us stop beating about the bush by seeking solace through the governor or petitioning the AIG or any police formation over a matter involving ownership of land for which they are helplessâ€.