By Osaigbovomwan Iguobaro
The Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has returned the property which was given to him as gift by the previous administration of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to the State Government in exercise of his fiduciary responsibility to protect and act in the best interest of the people of the State.
The property, was among 11 others Government properties within the Government Reserved Area (GRA) whose Certificates of Occupancy (C-of-O) were revoked by the Governor last December.
The Secretary to Edo State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in response to the uproar the demolition of some Government-owned property including the State former deputy governor, Mr. Pius Odubu, had generated.
Ogie said in the statement titled: “Ejection of illegal occupants from Edo State Government property, that the properties were allotted to former political office holders, companies and private individuals as parting gifts on the eve of the exit of former Governor of the State, Adams Oshiomhole from office.
“The properties have been revoked and recovered and therefore automatically belong to the original owner, which is the Government of Edo State. Therefore, the persons occupying the said properties are doing so illegally and are trespassers.
“The action taken by the Edo State Government on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, was to evict the trespassers and squatters from these properties and effectively take possession of the assets. Therefore, the claims by the affected persons that their personal properties were demolished are false and baseless.
“It is instructive to note that one of the properties in question to which a former Deputy Governor of the State, Dr. Pius Odubu, lays claim is actually the official Lodge of the Secretary to the State Government of Edo State (SSG). The implication of this is that all SSGs after Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s administration will not have an official residence.
“Some of those affected, including a former governor, have now resorted to media blackmail when in fact they forcefully ejected senior academic staff of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) from these government properties, only to convert them to their own private use.
“Contrary to insinuations that government embarked on the recovery of the properties out of vendetta, the truth is that these are the only remaining properties in the GRA that belong to the state government. If they are allowed to be taken over by these private individuals, it means that when government wants to embark on any project within the GRA, it will have to resort to purchasing from the open market”, according to the statement.