By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—AN Edo State High Court has restrained a multi-million Naira rubber plantation company, Imoniyan Holdings Ltd., from trespassing on 63 hectares of land belonging to Evbuobateru community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.
Trial judge, Justice U.I Erameh, in her judgment, also restrained six other defendants, sued by the claimant, Chief Philip Omokaro, from further laying claim to the said land.
The defendants, who appeared in the case on behalf of Evbuorokho village, are: Emmanuel Obabueki, the Odionwere (Head of village), Egbe Osayande, Mrs Alice Iyoha, Mrs Grace Arasonmwan, Fred Oduagbon and Godwin Agbongiaban.
Omokaro, in his claim, sought a declaration of the land measuring 63.3283 hectares in Ovia North-East council by the 1st to 6th defendants to the 7th defendant, Imoniyan Holdings Ltd., forms part of Evbuobateru village land.
The community also urged the court to declare that the 1st to the 6th defendants had no legal right to lease Evbuobateru land to the 7th defendant.
But the defendants in their defence alleged that the claimants were their ancestral tenants who had no right of claim to the said land and urged the court to dismiss the suit.
In her judgment, Justice Erameh held that the defendants were neither able to prove that they were the original owners of the land nor able to controvert the claimant’s pieces of documentary evidence of ownership of the land.