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Delta govt vs Okere community: Judge warns Ijaw litigants

BY Emma Arubi

WARRI—THE Administrative Judge of Delta State High Court, Warri Judicial Division, Justice Marshall Mukoro, has  warned the Ijaw litigants in the case between the state government and Okere community,  seeking to be joined in the matter, not to come to him again trying to influence him over their intention to be joined in the case.

He said he should be allowed to handle the case within the ambit of the law, adding that they should go and prepare their case with proofs supported by the law. He said that as a Christian, he did not wish to get entangled in anything that would tarnish his name.

The visibly angry Justice Mukoro, who asked the Ogbe-Ijoh litigants to stand up in  open court, said that an old man of over 80 years came to him,  trying to influence him on how the matter should go, pointing out that but for his respect for the man’s age, he would have sent him to prison. He warned that he would not tolerate such acts again.

The Okere community, led by Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor and the Ogieboro of Okere,  Chief Felix Esisi and other elders, had dragged the state government to court over alleged forceful acquisition of their land, on which a new model school was being built.

At the last sitting, some Ijaws from Ogbe-Ijoh, led by one Clarkson Aribogha, came to court, seeking to be joined in the matter as owners of the same land, to which the Okere Itsekiri people did not object, before the matter was adjourned to Monday.

At the resumed hearing, Director of Civil Litigation in the state Ministry of Justice, Mr. S.O. Monye, objected to the Ijaw application for joinder through their counsel, T.C. William, after which counsel for the state government and the Ijaw  adopted their written addresses.

The court adjourned till  June 11, 2013 to rule on the joinder application.


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