Ogun Assembly wades into free trade zone land tussle

Ogun Assembly wades into free trade zone land tussle


The Ogun House Committee on Lands and Housing says it will commence investigations into the land tussle between the Igbesa, Ejila communities and the Ogun/Guangdong Free Trade Zone (OGFTZ).

Last Wednesday, a team of the Ogun House of Assembly had visited the community in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area on a fact-finding mission to guide investigations.

According to the committee’s Chairman on Justice, Ethics and Public Petitions, Solomon Osho, the visit was a result of a petition from the members of the community, which was treated in the House on October 21.

Osho, who is representing Remo North State Constituency, said that the team had obtained documents and surveys that would be thoroughly investigated.

“As you are aware, we treated a petition that we treated on October 28, we promised that we are going to come down to see for ourselves on fact-finding.

“We have been here for many hours, we have gone round the said area to see for ourselves and we have listened to both sides.

“We have got our facts and we have to go back to the House, work on the information we have got and we will get back to those concerned.

“The surveys and documents presented by all sides will be critically scrutinised and we will get back to them. If there is need to invite representatives of those concerned, we will do that shortly,’’ Osho said.

He urged all parties to maintain status quo and remain law-abiding pending the process of the investigation while promising that justice would be done.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, House Committee on Lands and Housing, Damilola Shoneye, representing Obafemi Owode State Constituency, said that the committee would not be biased in its investigations.

Shoneye said that all aggrieved parties had been given fair hearing and they would be called at any time for more investigations if there is need to do so.

The team, legal counsel of all parties, and representatives of the community members went round the said area to ascertain the claims of both the Ogun/Guangdong Free Trade Zone and the communities.

Some of the aggrieved landowners expressed optimism that the outcome from the investigations would be favourable.

Meanwhile, the Deputy General Manager of the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone, Daniel Che, had said that the state government allocated 2,000 hectares of land for the establishment of the zone.

“This land has been acquired since 1997 according to the Opic Act and there is a gazette confirming this claim. In 2007, before the zone was established.

“The Ogun State Government allocated the 20 square kilometers of land; I mean 2,000 hectares of land to the free trade zone. There is an allegation by the community that 400 hectares does not belong to the zone which prompted us to have a government signed survey.

“We ensured that we cleared ourselves at the state government, the police and all other agencies to prove that the land belongs to the free trade zone.

“I believe majority of the landowners had been compensated long before now, only certain people who are refusing their lands to be enumerated have yet to be compensated,’’ he said.

On the other hand, some the community leaders members had claimed that the management of the OGFTZ had destroyed 485 hectares of land beyond the marked area allocated to the zone.

On May 16, the communities’ members of Igbesa and Ejila of Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun had called on the Ogun State and Federal Government to stop the Ogun/Guangdong Free Trade Zone from annexing their farmlands. 

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