By Daniel Dafe
The police in Edo State have arrested a youth community leader of Ovre Eku (also known as Iwevbo), Akpowene London Isobotie.
The said community is a settlement of Eku indigenes that migrated to a portion of land considered to be on Edo soil, while some think it is a part of Delta State, an issue that is yet to be determined by the court.
According to a source who is a concerned party in the issue, Akpowene was arrested by the police from Igualoba Division of Edo State Police Command, adding that the said arrest was over a disputed land (Palmtree plantation) which the indigenes have maintained belongs to the community, while men loyal to the Enogie of Orogho have continued to claim ownership.
Our source said that “the land matter which is purely civil was first taken to Abraka Division who he claimed is in charge of the area, while the Police at Abraka saw that it was a civil matter and advised accordingly.”
According to our source, “the Enogie people have been using police from Edo State Police Command, particularly the Igualoba Division to harass, attack and incarcerate the poor settlers to force them under the leadership of the Enogie and control their land.”
“Last year, documents concerning the land were sent to the Police at Igualoba. They then released their suspects. Today, we are now informing the public of another face of arrest. It’s a pity that the community has been reporting happenings in the area to relevant authorities without much been done to stop this life threatening move of the police and Bini people.
“The villagers don’t have the money to be running up and down Edo State roads which is a strange land to them,” our source added.
Reacting, a source who dies not want his name in print argued that the said youth leader was arrested for trespassing into the said area that had the palm tree.
Attempts to speak with the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Edo State, SP Chidi Nwabuzor proved abortive as he did not pick calls to his mobile phone number and he is yet to respond to a text message sent to him.
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