By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has revoked over 18 hectres of farmland belonging to the the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate at the September 19, 2020 governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
A letter sent through the Edo Geographic Information Service (EdoGIS) dated 22 July 2021 and signed by the Chief Registrar, Titles and Instrument, Mrs Nora Ohiwerei, for the Managing Director, read; “I am directed to inform you that the Edo state Governor Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki has formally revoked the statutory right on all that parcel of land measuring approximately 18.0736 hectares in Amagba village area.”
The said land has been majorly devoted to farming and training of people interested in farming by Ize-Iyamu.
No reason has been given by the state government for the revocation but it was gathered that Governor Obaseki had during his first term allegedly used the same facility to train beneficiaries of the CBN Anchor Borrowers program.
The state government had through advertorials few weeks ago announced the revocation of several lands including Ize-Iyamu’s for public interest.
It was gathered that Ize-Iyamu was considering dragging the governor to court to challenge the revocation.
A former aide to Obaseki, Adaze Emwanta, explained the governor took the decision in the interest of the state.
He said he derived the power from the Land Use Act saying “the land Ize-Iyamu is laying claim to, used to belong to the state government, and was meant for a government project. But Ize-Iyamu converted the land to his farmland”.
Lands owned by former deputy governor of the state, Dr Pius Odubu, former Secretary to State Government (SSG) and the current members representing Owan Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, sports enthusiast and marketer Mike Itemuagbo and others have been revoked by the governor and structures existing destroyed for what the government said is for public interest.