* Village leader appeals for Benin Monarch intervention

By Kingsley Abavo, Benin


Oba of Benin

Ikhuenobo village, Uhunmwode Local Government Area, Edo State is trapped in multiple court suits for land disputes with its surrounding neighbors.

This is even after HRM Oba Erediauwa of blessed memory had previously resolved some of the disputes in their favour.

But now, their yoke is seemingly increased with  the alleged unseizing harassment, intimidation, and arrest of property developers who genuinely bought land from the village, by a Benin Palace Chief, Solomon Ogbewe.

One of the village leaders, Arendenogbakhue Emovon made this known in a petition to the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II, dated 18 October, 2019 and availed our reporter in Benin.

Chief Ogbewe hijacked 10 plots of land at the Eastern part of the village and built a petrol station on it.

He allegedly issued a one million naira (N1m) cheque to elders of the village as payment for the land.

But the cheque turned out to be fake, Emovon alleged.

Ohen (Chief Priest) of Ikhuenobo, Nakwekponmwen Aighobahi and the secretary, David Imariagbe signed the land documents while his own signature was forged, Emovon further alleged.

When it was discovered that the cheque issued by Ogbewe was fake after its rejection by the bank, “several invitations were sent to him to return the certificate of the land that the cheque was not accepted by the bank, but he refused.”

All efforts deployed to make him pay have not yielded any fruitful result, Emovon added.

“Chief Ogbewe has continued to harrass and chase developers who legally acquired land from Ikhuenobo with the Police even while the issue of the fake cheque is still unresolved.

“Right now, Chief Solomon Ogbewe is bulldozing over 20 plots of land belonging to people who genuinely bought from Ikhuenobo village.

“The land he did not pay a dime for. He is fencing other people’s land, and now they are on our neck.”

Emovon disclosed that “Since Chief Ogbewe never paid for the land in question, my community now sold the land to some developers (names withheld).

“The Chief Priest of my community who promised to report Chief Solomon Ogbewe to the Palace was among those who signed on  behalf of my community.”

The area of land allegedly been hijacked by Ogbewe was legitimately sold to the owners by Ikhuenobo village with the approval, seal, and stamp of Ohen Nakwekponmwen Aighobahi, Emovon said.

Emovon raising the alarm that Ogbewe has repeatedly threatened his life consequently, appealed to the Benin Monarch, HRM Oba Ewuare II to quickly intervene.

He pleads that the Monarch summons Ogbewe, himself and all parties connected, to swear before the Palace ancestral shrine with their first born in unraveling the truth in the prevailing controversy that now surrounds the portion of land.

Ogbewe however denied the allegation when contacted on phone.