Family bicker over burial site of Ibru, ex-Delta governor

By Fegor Oghene, Asaba

There seems to be controversy around the proposed burial site for deceased former governor of Delta State, Olorogun Felix Ibru. A family in Agbarha-Otor, Akpame has embarked on a peaceful protest insisting on not burying the former governor on their land.

The Okpame family had insisted that the said land dispute has been on since 2014 in the Ughelli High Court with suit No. UHC/708/2014 and that the Ibru family would have violated the law by building a tomb on the disputed land when the case has not been decided, which they said amounted to violation of court process.

The family had also said that the land in dispute was never sold or leased, that it was given to Chief Michael Ibru for the purpose of building a plastic industry for the development of the community as he requested and not a place for burial or cemetery.

 In a statement signed by the Chairman, Okpame Land Committee, Mr. Johnson Atubi, Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Ikogho and made available to newsmen said about 1976, Chief Michael Ibru, approached their family for a customary allotment of 20 acres of land, which he claimed would be used for the establishment of a plastic industry.

“The family who embarked on the protest said, Ibru had purportedly requested for the twenty acres of land from the Okpame family with a view to establishing a plastic industry, which till date had not seen the light of the day and also had not returned the land back to the rightful owner.

The statement said, “Chief Michael Ibru was accompanied by Chief J.J. Ajarho, Chief Isobi Ibru and Chief Jomoni Owherhi, where they met the Okpame family who was then represented by the family head, Pa Onovughe Onodje, the spokesman, Pa Daniel Obure, Pa Uduovie and others.

“On that day, Chief Michael Ibru told us (Okpame family) that he needed a land to be allotted him for the establishment of plastic industry, which according to him would bring development and employment to the community and particularly, sons and daughters of Okpame family.

“The family considering the status of  Ibru, agreed with him for a piece of land to be allotted to him for the establishment of the plastic industry as requested, since it was their believe that he would match his words.

“I want you know that each acre has eight plots and by this, the twenty acres will be One hundred and sixty plots of land, and by calculation if each plot is sold at N700,000, it will run into hundreds of millions but we are not ready to sell, he should return our land since the land could not be used for the purpose.

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