By Osaigbovo Iguobaro Benin
A Federal High Court has ordered Trinity Plantation Ltd and five others to pay the sum of N100 million damages to the families of Idinrio, Idumuboh and Uzebu clans in Okaigben – Ewohimi, Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State.
The court presided over by Justice J. Aigbuloko Oyakhirome of Fugar held that the defendants wrongly, forcefully and without authority invaded the farmland of the claimants in the suit No : HUB/12/2011.
Justice Oyakhirome ruled that “the court has considered the impunity of the 1st and 2nddefendants, their invasion of the claimants’ farmland, bulldozing same before seeking the consent of the wrong people for consent, hiding the real nature of agreement and preventing people from going near their farmland with armed guards”.
“General damages are at large. Court awards general damages of N100,000,000 against the defendants in favour of the claimants.
Prof Joseph Okogun and nine others on behalf of the affected families, sought for a declaration that they are “entitled to a Customary right of occupancy over all that piece of land having boundaries with the neighboring communities farmland of Idum-junor and Idumuji-Ugboko in Aniocha North local government of Delta State, Ewatto and Idumu-Idumu-Agho clan in Okaigben Ewohimi”.
But, the court exempted the 7th and 13th defendants in the suit, being Chief Anthony Aisewomion and Ministry of Lands, Survey and Housing. Edo State from payment of the damages.