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15 Jul 2020

Chief Ajele, Farm Land Grab

Nigeria: Okomu Oil Palm Plantation company accused of human rights violations

‘Another terror attack on local communities by Okomu Oil Palm Plantation Plc’ 16 June 2020

The case of Okomu Kingdom playing host to Okomu Oil Palm Plantation Plc has brought in its wake a myriad of problems; environmental despoliation, obnoxious act against the indigent population, excruciating poverty, unemployment, human rights violation, forceful eviction and imminent extermination of Okomu Kingdom and her people. The government of Edo State share joint responsibilities for these negative situation. Since they negotiated a contract that was faulty from the beginning and cannot be implemented without violating the rights of the Community people. Hence the company often boasts that it has a certificate of occupancy, therefore it can go on and on to destroy without any liability. 

...Just recently on the 20th of May 2020 another village Ijaw-Gbene in Okomu Kingdom was burnt down by the management of OOPC, lead by Mr Kingsley Adeyemi a security attached to OOPC. This arsonist attack came on the heels of several treats by Mr Asemota the head contractor on security for the company. The attack was made possible by a joint effort of the company security lead by Kingsley Adayemi and the Nigerian army attached to the company rendering the local farmers and fisher men homeless with all their properties destroyed. The over 80 persons who were living in the village are now homeless, and are squatting in neighboring communities and churches thus exposing them to corona virus attack.

…Several efforts made by Environmental Right Action, Friends of the Earth, Coalition of Civil Societies to mediate were all thrown into the dustbin without a response from the government and company even after the protests march on June 21st, 2017. In 2015, the Commander of Joint Task (JTF) Niger Delta, Major General Atewe made several attempts to reason with OOPC but to no avail. In fact when Major General Atewe visited Okomu Community he was touched by the sorry state of underdevelopment of the community. He immediately donated a borehole water and one hundred bundles of wrapper (fabric) to the women which was delivered by Col Balarabe, but Major General Atewe was retired suddenly. It was Major General Atewe who restored our dignity partially.