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PDP crisis: Dokpesi’s DAAR Communications loses 868 plots of land in Rivers



In what look like a fallout of the crises over the presidential ticket of opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the Nyesom Wike led Rivers State Government on Wednesday revoked 860 plots of land being occupied by DAAR Commmunications, the owner of African Independent Television, AIT network in Port Harcourt.

Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the proprietor of DAAR Commmunications is a key ally of Atiku Abubakar, who defeated Wike in the battle for the presidential ticket of PDP.

Dokpesi led Atiku’s campaign and against the argument of Wike and his allies worked against the zoning of the presidential ticket of the party to the Southern part of the country.

Wike who had been at war with Atiku since he lost the presidential ticket of the party had lately been targeting property and businesses linked to allies of the former vice president in Rivers.

The revocation of the plots of land owned by DAAR Communications will be in the same.

However, the Rivers House of Assembly which reversed the ownership of the land had claimed that its action was based on its findings in the petition by four communities – Ozuoba, Rumuosi, Rumuokwachi and Alakahia in Obio-Akpor local government Council area of the State.

The four communities are the original owners of the land.

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The House of Assembly based its decision a report presented during plenary by the House Committee on Public Complaints and Petitions.

Our Correspondent reports that the petition against DAAR Communications on the land was first presented on the floor of the Rivers State House of Assembly on Friday June 3, 2023 and presented to the House by a lawmaker, Michael Chinda during plenary.

In the petition, the petitioners said in 1973, the Rivers State Government acquired for public use over 316 acres of land lying and situate along NTA/Choba Road and fronting the East-West Road from Ozuoba, Rumuosi, Rumuokwachi and Alakahia Communities.

The Rivers State Government in the course of time allotted part of the land to Federal Ministry of Industry for the establishment of Workshop for the training of people in various skills.

Also, another portion measuring about Fifty (50) acres was allotted to Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).

FRCN erected communication masts and buildings. It operated for a very short time before selling the entire station to the Rivers State Government for the use of Radio Rivers.

Similarly, Radio Rivers operated the station for a very short time before DAAR Communications took over the entire station for the use of AIT.

Our investigations revealed that DAAR Communications, as a private investment had no valid title to continue to occupy our Forty (40) acres of such land situated at the center of developed Neighborhood now named Ozuoba GRA Phase 5 by the Rivers State Government.

It was alleged that since DAAR Communications could not improve on the existing development inherited from Radio Rivers, it resorted to leasing out the excess land to farmers, some of which regrettably are natives of the same communities that originally owned the said land.

Presenting the report, the Chairman of the House committee, Evans Bipi said ownership of the 860 plots of land has been revoked from Daar Communications and returned to Rivers State Government over wrongful acquisition.

Some of the lawmakers who spoke during the plenary accused DAAR Communication PLC of illegal acquisition of the land.

Speaker of Rivers House of Assembly, Ikuinyi Owaji Ibani, in his ruling, said DAAR communication PLC should open fresh negotiations with the Rivers State Government on the land.

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