Five persons from the Oke-Oroma community in Edo State, who on Thursday protested over the demolition of their properties by the state government, were arrested by security operatives at the premises of the National Museum in Benin.
One of the protesters who spoke to newsmen said a combined team of security agencies made up of Department of States Service and policemen stormed the venue with three hilux vehicles, two prado Jeeps, armoured tank, and machine guns after the protest.
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the protesters were in the museum premises to round off the protest when the security men swooped on them.
He said the five persons include one Comrade Ojo Collins and four others. He said they were yet to know where the arrested persons were taken to.
The people of Oke-Oroma community as well as land developers had on Thursday morning took to the streets to protest against the demolitions of their properties and alleged forcefully annexation of the land by the state government.
Besides the indigenes and the victims of the demolition, traditionalists also took part in the peaceful protest under the watch of security agencies.
The traditionalists cladded in red attires, carried clay pot filled with substances and a chicken to add an impetus to the seriousness of the protest; masquerades were also not left out in the protest.
The protest, however, resulted to gridlock around the ever busy Ovorawmen square, popularly knowns as Ring road, Airport road, Sapele road as well as the adjoining streets.
Speaking at the protest, Madam Inibokun Monday, Mr Terry Ilevbare, Monday Edo Omorogiuwa and Comrade Emmanuel Aigbogun, the Public Relations Officer, Talakawa Parliament, accused the Edo State government of contempt of court.
They alleged that an Edo High Court, sitting in Benin City and presided over by Vestee Eboreime had on August 4, 2022 restrained the state government and its agents from taking possession of their disputed land pending the determination of the substantive suit.
They noted that the state government that was supposed to obey court orders was now acting otherwise, stating that the government cannot be a judge in its own case.
The protesters who added that the community had been existing for the past 2000 years, urged the state government to produce the documents for acquisition of the 1229 hectares of their land.
The protesters accused the state commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of not properly advising the state government on the implications of court of contempt.
They, however, vowed not to end the protest against the demolition and the alleged forcefully annexation of their land until justice was meted.