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Okpelema denies EPZ ownership suit

By Emma Amaize

WARRI—PRESIDENT, Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities, FNDIC, Chief Bello Oboko, has disassociated the Okpelema community in Warri South West Local Government Area, Delta State, from the suit by some Ijaw communities claiming the ownership of Export Processing Zone, EPZ, project site.

Oboko in a statement, yesterday, said “Okpelema is a verified host/stakeholder in the EPZ project and submitted its preliminary compensation claims to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan through the Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Asaba on July 22, pending the outcome of Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA report.

“In the unfortunate law suits over Escravos EPZ Project, Okpeleama community is, so far, luckily not joined as a party in any of the cases the issues being litigated upon in court of law. I am worried that bush clearing, land preparation and other works were completed without recourse to Okpeleama, but I am confident that Governor Uduaghan will promote the spirit of live and let  live, and not be in business of ethnic cleansing by enforcing court judgments, wherein Okpeleama people are not parties or disputants.”

Oboko tasked Governor Uduaghan on speedy compensation to bring relief to Okpeleama dwellers, who “are suffering huge humanitarian crisis following dislocated economies, nagging hunger upon quitting their lands for the EPZ project in obedience to government order.”


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