Widow accuses oil firm of land encroachment

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A widow in Rivers State, Madam Theresa Allen, has alleged that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has forcefully encroached on her land at Onyeidah forest, Ikata community, in Ahoada East Local Government.

The woman told The Nation in Port Harcourt that SPDC allegedly destroyed her farm crops and illegally fenced off a portion of her land to build quarters for military personnel securing its facilities, which shared boundary with the property.

The widow said the land was bought by her late husband, Mr. Money Allen, for residential building for his family (nuclear family), adding that preparation for the project started before he died two years ago.

She said it was regrettable that the oil company took advantage of her husband’s death to violate her right.She demanded compensation for her destroyed cassava, alleging that she wanted to retrieve the portion of land encroached on by Shell.

Mrs. Allen gave the oil company 14 days from the date of this publication to pull down whatever structure it had erected on her land, and compensate her for her blocks and farm crops (cassava) destroyed.

Contacted, Shell’s spokesman Michael Adande asked for a formal presentation of the issues at stake.

Shortly after he received the document, Adande promised to direct the issues and questions raised to the appropriate quarter.

He then promised to get back to our reporter.

However, when The Nation called days later to find out what was going on, Adande said the letter had been sent to the department in charge of the area, and that a comprehensive report on the matter was being awaited.

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He said SPDC did not encroach on the widow’s land forcefully as being alleged by her, but hinted that the widow’s brother in-law was involved in the transaction.The oil company is yet to send the report two weeks after. Adande has stopped answering calls and replying SMS on the matter.

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