Edo Community Sues Oil Firm, Army Over Unlawful Occupation Of Land

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The Chief of Army Staff, the Commander of the 4 Mechanized Brigade of the Nigerian Army, and the management of Newcross Petroleum Limited has been dragged before a Federal High Court in Benin, Edo State by an oil producing community in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State, Obagie N’unuamen, over an alleged use of personnel of the Nigerian Army to deprive citizens of the community, benefits accruing them from their God-given wealth.

The community is asking the court to restrain the defendants, their agents and privies from entering, working upon and carrying out oil prospecting (including seismic surveys of any kind whatsoever) or oil mining activities on any portion of plaintiffs’ communal land.

The claim by Newcross Petroleum Limited that all the host communities including N’unuaemn attended a meeting it called last week, has also been described as a hoax and an attempt to discredit the community by President General of the community, Mr. Femi Aiwansedo.

According to him, there was already a suit in court by the community against the company over use of army officers to molest, intimidate, and deny the people of their rights and benefits as an oil producing area.

The community also wants N100 million as damages against Newcross Petroleum Limited for the loss of value to the land as a result of interference with the plaintiff’s interest in the 20 hectares of land belonging to the community and another 38 hectares of its land, which the company entered into without their permission and in the process, carried out oil exploration activities and subsequently laid the land to waste.