The Cross River Government says it has withdrawn the disputed 32 hectares of cocoa plots, earlier ceded to one Ogar Assam’s family at Abonita Cocoa Estate in Etung Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
The withdrawal is contained in a letter, dated January 17, 2024, by the Director, Agric Services, Mr Ogar Etta, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Sunday.
The letter, titled, “Re: Release of Block 7A77, 7B77, 7C77, 8B77, 8C77 Cocoa Farms At Abonita Cocoa Estate to Chief Ogar Assam’s Family”, noted that the said plots were ceded in error and are hereby withdrawn.
The letter stated that it was misguided and misinformed about the disputed cocoa plots ceded to the Assam family through a letter dated December 5, 2023.
It further said that facts have now emerged that the 32 hectares of cocoa plots belonged to the state government.
“The decision is consequent upon the misguided facts during information gathering in some of the documents provided by Mac Prince Mbu Leku.
“The desire to withdraw the ceded blocks also followed the presentation of facts by landlords in the communities in a meeting scheduled on December 12, 2023, with the intention of the Attorney General of Cross River State to amicably resolve the impasse in suit NO.HE/18/2022.
“Further clarification also came from the director of forestry in his letter with Ref No.CRSFC/S4/V3/315.
“To this end, block 7A77, 7B77, 7C77, 8B77, 8C77, totalling 32 hectares of land, are still vested in the government of Cross River State as they were ceded in error to Ogar Assam’s family.
“Similarly, the Commissioner for Lands, in a letter with Ref No. MLH/ADS/670/Vol.I/18, said that records from the ministry does not in any way show that the Cross River State government acquired land from any family to establish Abonita Cocoa Estate,” the withdrawal letter maintained.