By Emma Amaize
OGHARA—THE traditional ruler of Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area, Delta State, HRM Noble Eshemitan, Orefe III, has set up an 11-man audit committee to liaise with all relevant bodies for effective and violence-free enumeration of economic trees, crops and property on the 243 hectares of land in dispute between the Nigerian Navy and the kingdom.
HRM Eshemitan charged the committee “to investigate and ascertain all true land owners in the affected portions of land and serve as the eyes of the people and Oghara Kingdom in the land affair.”
He cautioned against “divisive and selfish agenda in the performance of the assignment. The affected communities, Otumara and Okurho, are free to carry out background checks on ancestral owners in their area to reduce the workload of the committee.”
The monarch agreed with suggestion of the communities to have their own estate valuers for fairness and accountability to all concerned.
Chairman of the 11-man committee is Chief M. Akpeninor. Others comprising representatives of the affected communities, Oguedion and Palace include Chief Stephen Egbivwie, Chief Robert Eyaufe, Rev. David Ugolor, Chief Femi Agbokoko, Elder David Paul, Nicholas Omoko, Tony Omene and Matthew Egbe.
In a related development, a delegation of Oghara indigenes has appealed to the paramount ruler to hold back some portions of land from the 243 hectares of land allegedly needed by the navy, stressing that the land in contention was the commercial nerve of the kingdom.
Publisher of Ogharaline, Kparobo Ehvwubare, who is among the delegation, said the monarch should earmark a specified portion for navy, warning that it should not be allowed to fence off the high pressured pipeline that cut across the said land.