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Premium Steel and Mines Limited, current owners and operators of the defunct Delta Steel Company, Ovwian-Aladja, Delta State has clarifies the legal implications of the recent court ruling on the 102.5 hectares Emowhe land ownership question, stressing that by virtue of the judgment of the High Court of Justice holding at Otor-Udu, the land which was originally acquired by the Federal Government as part of expansion plans of the plant now belong to Premium Steel.
Making the clarifications at the company premises on Monday, Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Ujjiwal Sinha disclosed that what the Emowhe family of Ovwian is parading was a default judgment obtained without hearing from the defendants (Premium Steel and Mines Limited), adding that upon notice of the judgment, the company went into action and the judgment was set aside, reverting the situation to the status quo ante.
According to CEO, ‘’the best that Emowhe family could do accept the truth and let sleeping dogs lie. Those lands belong to PSML. With the recent judgment, the Court has vacated her earlier ruling, paving the way for fresh evidences to be taken so that all the parties could be given proper hearing in the matter. The case filed by Emowhe family was not defended initially and they got a default judgment. That is all. But reality on ground is that following our argument to be heard in the matter, the court had struck out or set aside her earlier judgment and so, anybody still relying on the default judgment is standing on quicksand.
‘’We have very strong evidence to prove that the land in question is part of the land originally acquired by the federal government for the expansion of the DSC plant. Premium Steel bought all assets of the company and the land in question, being part of the assets of the old DSC is now vested in Premium Steel. Whoever bought and built on the land without recourse to PSML shall have the bulldozers to contend with at the appropriate time.
‘’It is unfortunate that some people do not want to listen to wise counsel. For instance, not too long ago, we wrote to those building on the DSC permanent camp wall to desist from their action. Just last Saturday, we hear government bulldozers have visited the place and reduce all the structures to ground zero. Let me sound this note of warning to land speculators to desist from buying any area of the Emowhe land, which rightfully belong to Premium Steel. At the appropriate time, government agencies will swing into action and bring down everything built on the land because the rightful owner is here.
‘’We are sounding this note of warning in their best interest. Premium Steels have nothing to lose but those who acquired property in the said area may soon discover that they have thrown their hard-earned money into the ocean. Let members of the public stay away from the 102.6 hectares of land in Emowhe of Ovwian. We shall not bother to say anything again except in court and perhaps the next thing would be action. We cannot fold our hands to allow land poachers and speculators to invade what was entrusted to us. Premium Steel has the right and duty to protect all her assets. We shall henceforth activate the instrument of government to continue to retain possession of what rightfully belongs to the company’’, Mr Ujjiwal Sinha added, stressing that in the actual sense of the word, by reason of the recent development in court, it can safely be stated that there is no judgment on the land matter yet and so the land reverts to PSMl for use as industrial zone in the nearest future.