A former member of the House of Representatives, Ned Nwoko, has threatened to sue PREMIUM TIMES over an investigative story on his controversial acquisition of 90 hectares of land for a golf course in his hometown, Udumuje-Ugboko in Delta State.
The two-part story published last December indicated how Mr Nwoko’s acquisition of the land divided the community.
It also revealed how some members of the community who challenged his acquisition of the land were arrested.
The development later led to violence, and kingship tussle, arrests and litigations.
While lawsuits were pending over the land, Mr Nwoko began building the proposed STARS University on another 33 hectares gifted him by the community in the early 2000s.
On Thursday, he said the university had reached 95 per cent completion and that it has Olympic standards sports facilities.
However, in a series of text messages he sent to our reporter on Monday, Mr Nwoko denied acquiring the 90 hectares for the university.
He threatened to sue this newspaper and the reporter if it fails to withdraw some of the claims in the story.
“I didn’t acquire 90 hectares for university. It was given for a golf course. Please, see the Obi’s letter.
“All structures for the university are built on my old land. The land was never grabbed as you put it. It was properly allocated with a C of O.
“You must correct this misinformation. It is in bad faith. Otherwise, I will seek appropriate redress against you and Premium Times,” he said in one of the messages he sent to our reporter.
Ned Nwoko and C of O
Mr Nwoko’s current stance is inconsistent with his previous response. He had claimed the land was approved for the university last year.
In documents obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, which he later presented to the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), he stated that STARS University was the owner of the land.
The university was also named as the owner of another 58 hectares, which is a combination of the 33 hectares allocated for commercial farming in 2000 and other portions bought from members of Onicha-Ugbo community in another Right of Occupancy.
Mr Nwoko insisted the university has its permanent site in another location, but he did not substantiate the claim.
He kept mum when our reporter asked if he submitted the land documents to the NUC in the application for a licence for the university.
“The fact that there are no structures in the 90 hectares is malicious misinformation.
I take it that this matter will be resolved by the courts,” Mr Nwoko wrote in another message.
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