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Rivers Gov’t To Revoke Dokpesi’s Daar Communications 886 Plots Of Land

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Trouble is looming in Rivers State following ongoing moves by the government to seize 868 plots of land occupied by the Daar Communications, a media outfit owned by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi.

The large expanse of land located along the popular NTA road accommodates the Southsouth operations of Daar Communications, owner of the African Independent Television (AIT) and the Raypower FM.

The House of Assembly passed a resolution reversing the ownership of the land following allegations that it was wrongfully acquired by the media outfit.

The decision of the House was following the recommendations by the House Committee on Public Complaints, which considered the petition by Rumuokwashi, Rumuosi, Ozuoba and Alakahia communities, owners of the land in dispute.

The Chairman of the committee, Evans Bipi, during his presentation of the report of the committee on the floor of the House, said Daar communications “failed” to provide the land documents of the said property.

The committee, therefore, recommended that the media outlets be allowed to use only the area it currently occupied.

Governor Nyesom Wike acknowledged receipt of the report from the House of Assembly on the revocation of ownership of the land for not possessing requisite titled documents.

The Governor said the days of Rivers being seen as a father Christmas was gone insisting that nobody could illegally acquire what belonged to the State.

Wike also directed the Attorney-General to take appropriate actions and act on the report.

But the International Society for Social Justice and Human Rights, ISSJHR, on Friday, September 16, 2022, called on the Rivers government not to politicise the land dispute.

The group said that the 868 plots of land was legally ceded to Daar Communications Plc during the administration of former Governor Peter Odili in 2001 with a condition that the company would give 70 per cent employment to the indigenes of the state.

The Chancellor of ISSJHR, Dr. Jackson Omenazu, appealed to the government to reconsider its moves in view of the bad business weather forcing companies to shut down their operations.

He said: “By our investigations, we were able to obtain useful documents of the Deeds of agreement between the state government under Peter Odili and Daar Communications.

“What that implies is that that land was genuinely ceded to the communications company and this present administration has no moral or legal right to dispute that”.

Jackson said within the period of acquisition, Daar Communications paid the sum of N86 million into the account of the Ministry of Lands and the agreement was duly signed by the then Commissioner for Information and Communications in the state.

He maintained that if the dispute were not handled with care, it would jeopardized the employment of over 48 Rivers indigenes eking out their living from the company.

Jackson said: “We cannot continue to chase away companies by our attitude and policies as a government when a record from the national bureau of statistics, NBC, has it that Rivers state has the highest number of unemployment in the country.

“We call on Governor Nyesom Wike and the leadership of the House of Assembly not to allow our political leanings become detrimental to the overall interest of the Rivers people. We have a highly revered son, Prince Shedrack Akolokwu, who was appointed into the board of Daar Communications to protect the interest of the state.

“Going by the documents at our disposal, there is a provision for Rivers indigenes to even buy shares in the company. That benefit is besides the reception of free signal from AIT not just in Rivers state but the Niger Delta region”.

Source: The Nation

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