PDP chieftain John Unukebo Oguma wants to kill us after grabbing our land, Jarikre family cries out
By John Edema and Samuel Ogunsona
A PDP chieftain in Delta State Chief John Unukebo Oguma of Ovwor-Olomu and Peter Mrakpor, the Attorney General of Delta State have been accused of harassment, threat to life, kidnap and conspiracy to annihilate the Jarikre family of Delta State.
The family called on President Mohammadu Buhari and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to come to their aid and save them from possible elimination.
Addressing journalists in Lagos on Thursday, the Jarikre family represented by Samson Ugbodo and Philemon Jarikre accussed John Unukebo Oguma of conspiracy and plan to eliminate some members of the family over 100 acres of land said to traditionally belong to the Jarikre family.
The family said having masterminded the arrest of five family members, the PDP chieftain is asking members of the family to accept in piecemeal some plots of the land as a bargain to keep them away from threats and intimidation.
“We are in danger of being wiped out by powerful land grabbers on account of our long held inheritance and heritage of more than two centuries. This heritage, known as Urhedjo/Ovwioghor , measures about 100 acres and was bequeathed by Adjafia to his daughter, Edavwerhe, the mother of Jarikre, Who was our father.” The family source explained at the press conference attended by Irohinoodua
The family said the land grabbers have seized control of the Adjafia family and recruited the organs of state in their evil enterprise. ‘They have compromised NPF, specifically the Otu-Jeremi Police station, to harass, imprison, kidnap and chase them out of their ancestral home and land so that are are now refugees for fear of arrest and detention on serious, but trumped up charges, kidnap, or worse, including murder’ the family said.
They claimed that the conspiracy has resulted in five of their relations, all descendants of Jarikre aged from 42 to 80, spending 4 months in jail without trial. Those remanded are : Madam Epinnijigho Oriorohwwo (nee Jarikre), 80 years, Mrs Cecilia Akpomedaye, 69 years, Mr David Moses, 60 years, Mrs Margaret Ikpesu, 50 years, Pastor Vincent Oviriara, 42 years.
The family said the arrested were later released on bail on the intervention of the Chief Judge of Delta state who happened to visit Okere prison during a decongestion exercise.
“When we realised in 2019 that these people meant to dispossess 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 filed on 31/01/2020 at Out-Jeremi High Court as case No: HCG/05/2020”’ the family aid during the press conference.
According to the family, in what it described as ‘a brute use of power’, on February 5, 2020, before the case could be heard, and bent on preventing their land grab becoming public notice by way of a trial, the PDP chieftain compromised the DPO of Otu-Jeremi Police Station, Sunday Ibrahim, who without any investigation whatsoever, invaded their homes in a gestapo raid and carried off five of their people, aged 45 to 80, into captivity on very serious, but trumped up charges, attracting as high as life imprsonment.
“These charges included possession of guns/firearms, promoting communal war, and attempted murder; supposedly by our elderly mothers and wives, women and subsistence farmers, who are rural folks. Such is their desperation!,” Said the family
Speaking further the family said that, on February 6, 2020, the DPO, of-Jeremi Police Station, Mr. Sunday Ibrahim deliberately charged them before a magistrate court, said not to have jurisdiction on such serious criminal charges. The family claimed the objective was to remove them from circulation, even from their ancestral homes for ease of possession.
‘The magistrate lacking jurisdiction, remanded our people in prison custody. They then forcefully took possession of our land, destroying cash and food crops in the process, thus denying our people of their freedom, livelihood, dignity, and damaging our reputation by branding us criminals, and maliciously prosecuting our people by giving false evidence to the NPF,’ Samson Ugbodo and Philemon Jarikre aid
According to them, the Attorney General of Delta State, has been most instrumental in their travails. They accused him of seizing the case file from the Director of Public Prosecution, so that the officer could not give a professional opinion on suitability of the charges, or whether or not to proceed with prosecution. They said he then pressured the judge to avoid sitting on three occasions the excuse being COVID-19.
The Jarikre family claimed that he caused the amendment of the charges to again come within the jurisdiction of the magistrate adding that his game was to frustrate both cases, while using the illegally imprisoned relations as hostages to force the family on their knees and bargain. The family said it was lucky that the Chief Judge visited the prison on a decongestion exercise leading to the freedom of the detained.
“We are peaceful people who have chosen to enforce our rights through the court, as recommended by law. We invite the Attorney General of the Federation, the Attorney General of Delta State, the Inspector General of Police, the Governor of Delta State to allow the law take its course. We are in hiding, and now live in fear for our lives’, the family said
They also cautioned that one Samuel Ugborugbo of Ovwor-Olomu and other people working for him should be held responsible if anything untoward happens to any of their family. The family demanded for protection from these individuals, who they described as sworn enemies ready to do anything to annihilate the Jarikre family, and steal our inheritance. Efforts by Irohinoodua to get the police and the PDP chieftain did not materialise as at the time of going to the press.