The Rivers State Government has revoked ownership of part of the 868 plots of land being occupied by DAAR Communications Plc, operators of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and RayPower FM, along the NTA Road in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The Rivers State House of Assembly took the decision through a resolution it passed reversing ownership of the land on September 7, 2022 following a report presented during plenary by the House Committee on Public Complaints and Petitions.
The House of Assembly claimed it revoked ownership of the based on its findings in a petition filed by the four host communities – Ozuoba, Rumuosi, Rumuokwachi and Alakahia in Obio-Akpor local government Council area of the State.
The petition against DAAR Communications on the land was first presented on the floor of the Rivers State House of Assembly on June 3, 2022, by a lawmaker, Michael Chinda during plenary.
While presenting the report, the committee’s chairman and Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Evans Bipi said Daar Communications Plc failed to provide land allocation documents from the Rivers State Government
Hon. Bipi also said the company paid about N86 million to the Rivers State Government against the request of over N477 million.
He recommended that the half of one hectare which is 10.75 plots of land approximately 4, 998.8 square meters be allocated to Daar Communications Plc while the remaining hectares be returned back to the Rivers State Government for other development purposes.
“That the land Use Act of 2004, part 1 (1), 5 (1a and 1b) also section 28 (b) (3) (4) (5c) gives the Governor of Rivers State the right to revoke, reduce, redesign, re-allocate and cancel any land within the state for the purposes of development for public good.”
With all 18 members of the House supporting the move, the House Speaker, Hon. Ikuinyi Awaji-Ibani ruled that since DAAR Communications Plc has a cordial relationship with the state government, it can open new negotiations on the property.
The state Governor, Nyesom Wike, has acknowledged receipt of the report from the House of Assembly on the revocation of ownership of the land for not possessing requisite titled documents and directed the state Attorney-General to take appropriate action and act on the report.