Re: Ukpokiti, Oteghele debunks Omadino ownership claim over them

We would ordinarily have refrained from glorifying the very empty rants and very baseless claims over the islands of Ukpokiti and Oteghele, but


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Re: Ukpokiti, Oteghele debunks Omadino ownership claim over them


 

LEGAL & LITIGATIONS SUB COMMITTEE OF OMADINO COMMUNITY

 
REJOINDER
 
Re: Ukpokiti, Oteghele debunks Omadino ownership claim over them
 
We would ordinarily have refrained from glorifying the very empty rants and very baseless claims over the islands of Ukpokiti and Oteghele, but that those behind such spurious claims may not basque in the euphoria of assuming that they have made any sense, when in actual fact, no sense has been made at all. We therefore do not want this rejoinder to be taken just as a response to a group of persons who do not truly deserve any response, rather, it should be seen as an effort to dislodge the false narrative being put out to the general public, in lieu of which the facts, as they are, we will now make bare.
 
Ignorance is bliss, but we have this time elected not to allow the duo of Chiefs William Edio and Samuel Itu, who parade themselves as Okpako R' Ovwodo of Ukpokiti and Oteghele Islands of Omadino community respectively, together with their cohorts to basque in the euphoria of that bliss. We further want the general public to note that we have not delegated the function of the leadership of those islands to anyone, and warn impostors to desist from parading themselves as such.
 
In the Vanguard Newspaper publication of Tuesday October 17, 2023, at page 29, the duo of Edio and Itu had posited that the islands of Ukpokiti and Oteghele share common boundaries with the Itsekiri community of Obodo, hinging their position to a purported publication credited to Obodo community wherein Obodo community was said to have attested to that fact. In a separate publication on the Oasis Magazine published online, a certain Elder Arues Ideh and Okpako Opiah also made similar claims. Funnily, and very unfortunately, this seems to be their only claim to ownership of the islands of Ukpokiti and Oteghele by these characters.
 
We will attempt to disabuse the minds of the reading public, while simultaneously taking the pain to embark in an effort to enlighten the said Chiefs William Edio and Samuel Itu and their cohorts, being very convinced that they had spoken out of crass ignorance.
 
The island of Oteghele (Oriteghele) was originally deforested by Chief Nana of Itsekiri in the early 1890s for the purpose of encamping his stock of many slaves. Nana had sought a new and hidden location following the abolishment of slave trade by the British empire around the close of the 17th century. He wanted a place that is hidden from the prying eyes of the British enforcers of the abolishment of slave trade, as such, sought and secured the permission of the people of Omadino community to have a camp in one of their islands. This fact was noted by William A Moore (1936 pp 96) in his 'History of Itsekiri' The Ebrohimi punitive expedition of 1894 doomed the progress of Nana's quest, leaving his stock of slaves at Oteghele. Today, the descendants of those slaves now claim ownership of land and membership of a certain Agbarha-Warri kingdom. How is that possible? Similar
 
As to their clinging to a porported publication by Obodo community, we wish to refer the duo of Edio and Itu, and all their appologists to suit No. W/165/85 which happens to be a court case instituted by Obodo community against Elf Nigeria Ltd, Omadino community as well as Ajaosolo community in which the trial court handed down judgement against the same Obodo community in favour of Omadino and Ajaosolo communities. In that suit, Obodo community identified their neighbours, but fell short of identifying the islands of Ukpokiti and Oteghele as their neighbours, knowing that they are integral parts of Omadino lands. We thus find it funny how and when such boundaries with Obodo community was marked out.
 
We therefore take this opportunity to reemphasize that the islands of Ukpokiti and Oteghele are integral parts of Omadino community, which in turn is squarely within the Warri kingdom, and are by no means a part of any other kingdom anywhere else in this world. *It must therefore be noted that the "Agbarha-Warri kingdom" does not extend up to Ukpokiti and Oteghele Islands of Omadino community, this must be taken seriously as this fact had at least twice been resolved both by the supreme court of Nigeria in Suit No. W/3/1949 Secretary Western Province vs Olu of Itsekiri & 8 ors* *and Suit No /29/1949 E.E. Sillo & ors vs Adurumukumo* 
 
Consequently, we wish to take this opportunity to draw the attention of the Delta State Government, Warri South LGA, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NUPRC), Delta State Ministry of Oil and Gas, NPDC, Nigerian Gas Company, and the general public to desist from entering into any dealings with any impostor regarding the islands of Ukpokiti and Oteghele, or according anyone the privileges of host community except those so assigned by the people of Omadino community.
 
Signed
 
Chief Priest Roland Yomere
Chairman
 
Agbeye Onuwaje
Secretary

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