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Okuama leaders accused of looting community properties, as boat laden with looted materials intercepted




Following the withdrawal of soldiers in the embattled Okuama community in Ughelli South local government area, the leaders of Okoloba community in Bomadi local government area of Delta State have intercepted a local engine boat loaded with looted materials on River Forcados, purportedly bought from the razed Okuama community in Ughelli South local government area.

As narrated by the Chairman of Okoloba community, Mr Clement Koki, who led his community youths to apprehend the boat at Okoloba, Wednesday, stated that they waited patiently after getting a wind of the planned deal in the early hours of the day.

Addressing the newsmen, Okoloba community chairman said, “We got information earlier in the day that Okuama people were planning to sell properties in their community. At about 10 am today (Wednesday), a big local engine boat coming from the Okuwagbe community axis in Ughelli South local government area, passed through our community to the direction of Okuama. We prepared and waited patiently for its return.

“At about 5 pm, the same boat loaded to the brim was coming back and we took our speedboat, went after it and intercepted it on our community waterways. We brought it and the crew together to our community waterfront for questioning.

“From our inspection, we found out that there are assorted materials in the boat, including solar poles, iron bars, water tank irons and various household materials and scrap.

“Upon questioning, the crew opened up to us that the leadership of Okuama, including those declared wanted by the Nigerian army and others negotiated and sold the materials to them.

“We, the leadership of Okoloba community decided to intercept the boat because in the short run they would allege that we are the people looting their property. Now, the whole world has seen them, the unabated and unrelented propaganda against Okoloba community from the onset has once again backfired”.

However, in a video recording of the incident, which was released to Vanguard, one of the buyers of the materials, identified as Kelechi, who hailed from Ebonyi State, disclosed that they bought the community materials with the sum of one million five hundred thousand naira with a loading fee of one hundred and fifty thousand naira.

Kelechi, in his confessions, also disclosed that they bought the materials at Okuama in the presence of the wanted community chairman, the President-General, youth leader and one identified as Tega, the middle man of the business who hailed from Okuwagbe but works at Oginibo in Ughelli South local government area.

“I paid N1.5 million for the community materials and N150, 000 for loading the boat. They even threatened to shoot me when I offered to pay N100, 000 for the loading. If I had known that they were taking us to OKuama, I wouldn’t have come.

“Tega left our boat at Okuama after the business. I begged him to follow us back to Okuwagbe but he refused. He boarded another boat and passed through the creek opposite the community (Mein-toruabubor Creek) and went back”, Kelechi added.