Some members of Jarikre family from Akperhe-Olomu community of Delta State are now taking refuge in Lagos following implosion of land allocation disagreements between the family and some members of the Ovwor-Olomu family.
At a press conference in Lagos at the weekend, Mr. Ugbogbo Sampson, spokesman of the Jarikre family, said the crises arose over attempt by the other family to forcefully seize their ancestral land measuring some 100 acres they have held for more than two centuries.
Sampson, said that inability of both families to reach peaceful agreement has led to near violence, including mass arrest of his family members, intimidation and attempted kidnap, forcing some of them to flee the community.
He said that the community has already petitioned the Inspector General of Police, IGP, intimating him of harassment and detention of some of the community members by the Otu-Jeremi Police station, which they alleged have been compromised by powerful individuals of the contending community members.
According to him, the conspiracy has resulted in the arrest, detention of five of their relations aged between 42 years to 80 years.
“When we realized that these people meant to disposes us of our heritage, we sued them to court in suit No USACC/71/2019 at Area Customary Court Edjophe. The case was however struck out on 30/01/2020 for want of jurisdiction, the revision of laws of Delta state having classified the land in an urban area and therefore outside the jurisdiction of a Customary court. Whereupon the matter was filled On 31/01/2020 At Out-Jeremi High court as case No HCG/05/2020” Sampson said.
The spokesman however said that on 5th February before the case could be heard and bent on preventing their intent to seize their land being exposed the other family engaged the Police at Otu-Jeremi police station and invaded their community and took away five of their kinsmen and women threatening to charge them to court.
He said on February 6th the Police charged them to court where they were remanded and this gave them the opportunity to invade the community, seized the land in contention and destroyed cash crops.
The community members said they now live in fear and is seeking justice by petitioning the IGP and the Attorney-General of the federation to wade into the matter and allow court processes to go unhindered to enable them retrieve their land in a peaceful manner.