Why we reversed Dokpesi’s 868 plots
*It’s politically motivated – APC
The Rivers State House of Assembly has explained why it reversed the ownership of the 868 plots of land being occupied by Daar Communications Plc, along the NTA road in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
Daar Communications Plc, operators of African Independent Television and Ray Power FM is owned by a chieftain of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
The reversal followed a report presented during plenary by the House Committee on Public Complaints and Petitions.
The report followed a petition against the company by four host communities in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The communities are Ozuoba, Rumuosi, Rumuekini and Rumuokwashi.
While presenting the report, the committee’s chairman and Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Evans Bipi said Daar Communications Plc failed to provide land allocation documents from the Rivers State Government
Hon. Bipi also said the company paid about N86 million to the Rivers State Government against the request of over N477 million.
He said, “The half of one hectare which is 10.75 plots of land approximately 4, 998.8 square meters be allocated to Daar Communications Plc.
“And the remaining hectares returned back to the Rivers State Government for other development purposes.
“That the land Use Act of 2004, part 1 (1), 5 (1a and 1b) also section 28 (b) (3) (4) (5c) gives the Governor of Rivers State the right to revoke, reduce, redesign, re-allocate and cancel any land within the state for the purposes of development for public good.”
The House Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi Awaji-Ibani after a debate by his colleagues ruled that since the company has a cordial relationship with the state government, it can open new negotiations on the property.
“Those for 18, against nil, absentia nil.
“Therefore the house has resolved that the property in question which according to the committee report covers an area of about 40.36 hectares within Ozuoba layout GRA phase 5 as shown on plan number RS5289 totaling 868 plots be reversed to the government
“And AIT should open a new negotiation with government as to terms and conditions for further occupation of any part thereof. It is so resolved,” he said.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress has condemned the action of the state government to take over some portions of land housing the company.
The state APC spokesperson, Darlington Nwauju told our correspondent that the move was to suppress the media.
Nwauju said, “This singular decision by the Rivers State House of Assembly to reverse ownership of the land housing Daar Communications Plc, operators and owners of AIT and Ray Power stations despite the fact the company had as of 2021 paid the sum of N89 million into the state coffers for the same parcel of land.
“It is an attempt to bury the free press under the land mine of public complaints investigation.”
Nwauju further said the action of the government was politically motivated.
“We view this move as purely politically motivated and a veiled attempt to intimidate the media and deny Rivers people the freedom of expression including freedom to hold an opinion and receive or impart information as guaranteed under section 39 of the 1999 Constitution as amended,” he stated.