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Archbishop Avwomakpa Accuses Chief Kestin Pondi Of Alleged Trespass, Illegal Acquisition Of Church Land



Archbishop Avwomakpa Accuses Chief Kestin Pondi Of Alleged Trespass, Illegal Acquisition Of Church Land

The senior pastor and founder of Christ Missionaries Crusaders Church in Ekpan, Uvwie, Delta State, His Grace, Archbishop God-Do-Well Oyibo Ikoyi Avwomakpa, has accused the Managing Director of Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, Chief Kestin Pondi, of alleged trespass and illegal acquisition of a portion of the Church land.

Archbishop Avwomakpa also accused Chief Pondi of defying a violating an interim order by the State High Court Effurun restraining him from building or undertaking any construction work in the land pending the determination of the suit filed by the Church.

The prominent cleric also called on Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo and Ijaw leaders to call Engr. Pondi to order over the continued trespass of the land the church rightfully acquired.

He noted that the appeal to Governor Oborevwori and Ijaw leaders became pertinent over Pondi’s refusal to stop work in the church land despite repeated letter written to him through his lawyer urging him to discontinue construction.

The Archbishop informed our correspondent that the Church has filed a case with suit no. EHC/168/2023 and interim order was granted against Pondi to stop work on the piece of land, but he had refused.

A copy of one of the letters made available to our correspondent was signed by Archbishop Avwomakpa’s lawyer, Mr. Morgan Jibromah Esq.

Our correspondent who also visited the site of the disputed land, observed that sandfilling of the land was still ongoing by workers alleged to be working on the directive of the Tantita MD.

However, the Church in a letter dated 27th July, 2023 by through Morgan Jibromah & Co (El-Rohi Chambers) titled “Notice Of Trespass To The Land Of Christ Missionaries (Crusaders) Church, Nnpc Housing Complex Road, Ekpan” had urged Chief Pondi of owning the land.

The letter read, “The above subject matter refers. We are solicitors to Archbishop God-Do-Well Avwomakpa and Christ Missionaries (Crusaders) Church Inc. with Headquarters opposite NNPC Housing Complex Main Gate, Ekpan, Delta State. They shall hereinafter be referred to as Our Clients.

“Our Clients have informed us and we verily believe them that they own a church building, a school and other buildings and facilities on a large expanse of land measuring approximately 8.033 hectares, lying, situate and being at NNPC Housing Complex Road, Opposite the NNPC Housing Complex. The premises encompasses the Headquarters of the Church.

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“Our Clients have further informed us and we verily believe them that some persons who claim to be working for you and your brother, High Chief Ekpemupolo Government (aka Tompolo), have forcibly broken into part of the said expanse of land, under your orders and have started sand-filling the part they have used force to break into.

“We have our Clients’ instructions to inform you that Christ Missionaries (Crusaders) Church acquired a freehold estate/interest over the entire expanse of land many years ago from the Owhojivwieme, Otome, Esiyokpo, and Ovwere Families of Ugboroke and Ekpan who were the original owners of the land. Upon acquiring the said expanse of land, our Clients proceeded to obtain the necessary land instruments from the Delta State Government over the tract of land. No person within or outside the Families listed above can resell any portion of land already acquired by our Clients. Your present activities on the land of our Clients is unlawful, provocative, oppressive and constitutes an act of trespass.

“We have our Clients’ instructions to demand that you stop forthwith all these offensive and provocative acts of trespass over their tract of land. If anyone collected money from you, falsely laying claim to any inch of our Clients’ parcel of land, we advice that you ask the person to return your money to you. Our Clients’ are not giving away any inch of their parcel of land.

“Our Clients have informed those sand-filling part of their land that they are doing so without the blessing of and at the displeasure of our Clients.

“We do not expect you to engage in unnecessary conflict with our Clients. Rather, we expect and request that you call to order those who are forcibly sandfilling the land and ask them to leave our Clients’ land alone.”

But speaking on the development on Tuesday, Archbishop Avwomakpa called on Governor Oborevwori to intervene and stop the ‘intimidation’ and illegal acquisition of the church land.

“I am calling on Chief Tompolo and leaders of the Ijaw nation to call him to order before the situation degenerates. The Church will act to resist such open provocation by a total stranger coming to take its land.

“I call on His Excellency, Rt. Hon Sherrif Oborevwori as Chief Security Officer of the State to notify him of the continuing provocation by Kestin Pondi who now believes he can use the money to intimidate the body of Christ and His servant.”

Meanwhile, efforts to speak with Managing Director of Tantita Security Services Limited, Chief Pondi, on the allegations proved abortive.

But a source close to Chief Pondi told our correspondent that the disputed land was legally acquired by the Gbaramatu chief and debunked the claims of land grabbing the Church.


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