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Community, agro company fight over land acquisition

Elders of Illushi community in Esan South East Local Government of Edo State, have ordered  the management of Skaff International Agro Farms Limited to vacate…

Elders of Illushi community in Esan South East Local Government of Edo State, have ordered  the management of Skaff International Agro Farms Limited to vacate their land over alleged  illegal land acquisition.

Speaking with journalists, the community spokesperson, Richard Enye, said the order became necessary in the interest of peace.

He alleged that the management of the company connived with the local government chairman and some few individuals in the community to acquire the parcels of land without their knowledge.

He said following the acquisition, they have no place to carry out their farming activities.

“The elders are not aware of the  land in question, before it was illegally sold or leased to the company.

Richard appealed to the state government to intervene and  salvage the situation before it snowballs into a major crisis that could lead to the loss of lives and property in the community.

Responding, company’s the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Skaff, denied the allegation, saying he did everything he needed to do to get the land in the community.

“When I intended to go into agriculture for Rice farming and Rubber plantation, first, I wrote to the Agricultural Development Authority (ADP)  seeking their approval and advise who in return wrote me back and well come the idea,”.

“After my findings I met with the community, their Highness and over 200 youths from the community and 14 elderly chiefs who then gave their consent and approved with a lot of incentives such as borehole, hospital, schools, scholarship etc before I finally met with the government approval,” he said.

Also responding, the local government chairman, Peter Aguele described the allegation as baseless.

“It is totally untrue. If you see the land documentation of the sales of the land, you will know that it was transacted even over a year I became chairman of the council and there is no way I would have been the one who gave coverage to somebody I did not know,” he said.

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