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Tension in Kogi Community over traditional ruler’s secret mining licence, residents petition IGP



Inspector General of Po lice, Kayode Egbetokun
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The residents of Orinono Community Center of Ogugu in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, demanding investigation and prosecution of the Ejeh of Olamaboro, Mr Ujah Sani Simeon for fraudulently acquiring a mining licence.

Petitioners averred that the traditional ruler’s secret possession of small scale mining licence was without the consent of the host community which he intended to mine the resources that belonged to the entire community. com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"> com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js">

They pointed out in the petition that the traditional ruler forged signatures of some Orinono community leaders to obtain the lease, having not hailed directly from the community, hence, he should be stopped and investigated before the matter turned into communal conflict.

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The petition dated September 20, 2023, was titled: “Petition Against Mr. Ujah Sani Simeon, The Ejeh Of Olamabaro Local Government, Kogi State, Hon. Agwoka Peter Abah, Mr. Yusuf Akahaka Iduh, Mr. Musa Balla, Matigo Oguche, Achema Joseph Akor Omale And Luke Usman For Criminal Breach Of Trust, Forgery, Conspiracy, Threat To Life, Kidnapping, Assault And Breach Of Public Peace”.

An acknowledged copy of the petition made available to journalists on Wednesday, was written and endorsed on behalf of the Orinono Centre by their lawyer, Ojonimi S. Apeh Esq.

Apeh said the small scale mining lease was granted to Simeon in his personal name, on May 22, 2023.

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“Our Client informed us and we verily believed them to be true that, upon the discovery of the fact that Mr. Ujah Sani Simeon had obtained the mining lease, efforts were made to resolve the dispute amicably but all efforts proved abortive,” Apeh stated.

The petitioner alleged that Simeon at all times engaged in threatening the host community of killing, assaulting or kidnapping anyone who dares to question his authority as the Ejeh of Olamaboro.

According to Apeh, Simeon is the Ejeh of Olamaboro LGA, Kogi state, under which there are many other communities with their respective Chiefs (Gagos) and Chiefdoms long before the local government and even the state were created.

Apeh stated that Orinono Centre is an ancient community with her own Chief (Gago) and Chiefdom under which the solid mineral, coal is discovered.

The community told the IGP that trouble stated when on August 4, 2023, they discovered that the village stream which serve as their only source of water was contaminated as a result of the illegal mining activities being carried out by Simeon.

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The Orinono community said they reported the issue to the Ministry of Mines which investigated the matter, and informed Simeon to suspend further operations which he had failed to comply with, but rather, had continue with the mining and also, employed more thugs to cause havoc and security breach in Orinono Center.

The community informed the IGP that the clandestine activities of Simeon and his thugs have resulted to crimes in the once peacefully community as the whole community is presently living in fear of either being kidnapped, killed or assaulted.

“Furthermore, Hon. Agwoka Peter Abah, Mr. Yusuf Akahaka Iduh, Mr. Musa Balla, Matigo Oguche, Achema Joseph Akor Omale and Luke Usman, have been moving from house vandalising properties and destroying farmlands in the community,” Apeh stated.

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