PDP Crisis: Wike Takes Over Dokpesi’s Property



By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Rivers State Government has reversed the ownership and seized the 868 plots of land being occupied by Daar Communications, owners of African Independent Television AIT in Port Harcourt.

Chief Raymond Dokpesi, a diehard supporter of Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is the founder and owner of Daar Communications Plc owner of African Independent Television, AIT currently in conflict with the Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike.

The Rivers State House of Assembly reversed the ownership based on the petition to it by four communities of Ozuoba, Rumuosi, Rumuokwachi and Alakahia in the Obio-Akpor local government Council area.

It follows a report presented during plenary by the House Committee on Public Complaints and Petitions. The report is on its findings on the land acquisition petition against the company by the four host communities of Ozuoba, Rumuosi, Rumuekini and Rumukwashi.

Presenting the report, the Chairman of the House committee, Evans Bipi said the land has been given to the Rivers State Government over wrongful acquisition. Some of the lawmakers accused DAAR Communication PLC of illegal acquisition of the land.

Hon.Evans Bipi, Chairman of River Assembly House Committee on Public Complaints and Petitions.

The report was based on the findings after investigations, and public sittings involving the appearances of representatives of Daar Communications Plc, the four Communities and other stakeholders.
Speaker of the house, Ikuinyi Owaji Ibani, in his ruling, said DAAR communication PLC
should open fresh negotiations with the Rivers State Government on the land.

Our Correspondent reports that the petition against DAAR Communications Plc, operators of AIT and Ray Power FM was first presented on the floor of the Rivers State House of Assembly on Friday, June 3, 2023, by Hon. Michael Chinda during plenary.
Observers believe that the action may not be unconnected with the current political fight between Wike and supporters of Atiku Abubakar, PDP Presidential Candidate.

The petitioners said in1973, the Rivers State Government acquired for public use over 316 acres of land lying and situated along NTA/Choba Road and fronting the East-West Road from Ozuoba, Rumuosi, Rumuokwachi and Alakahia Communities.

The Rivers State Government over the time allotted part of the land to the Federal Ministry of Industry for the establishment of a Workshop for the training of our people in various skills.
Also, another portion measuring about 50 acres was allotted to the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).

FRCN erected communication masts and building structures. It operated for a very short time before selling the entire station to the Rivers State Government for the use of Radio Rivers.
Similarly, Radio Rivers operated the station for a very short time before DAAR Communications took over the entire station for the use of AIT.

The government said DAAR Communications, as a private investment, had no valid title to continue to occupy over 40 acres of such land situated at the centre of the developed neighbourhood, now named Ozuoba GRA Phase 5 by the Rivers State Government.

It was alleged that since DAAR Communications could not improve on the existing development inherited from Radio Rivers, it resorted to leasing out the excess land to farmers, some of which regrettably are natives of the same communities that originally owned the said land.