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SCORES of traders, who paid rents to the Aiyobahan of Benin Kingdom, Chief Osamede Adun, to secure shops at his now demolished shopping complex are now at a crossroad about how to retrieve money paid to the Benin chief.
Recalled that the Edo State government demolished the shopping complex located at the Mission Road in Benin in the middle of construction, leaving many who had already paid rents to Chief Adun asking for refund of their money.
The traders, who protested through the streets of Benin City, threatened to drag Chief Adun to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) if he failed to refund their money.
The traders took their protest march to the palace of the Oba of Benin, where they called on well-meaning individuals to prevail on Chief Adun to refund their money.
They demanded refund of over N100m they paid as rent for the shops but Chief Adun said he is waiting for the state government to pay him compensation before he could pay the traders their rents.
They displayed receipts of payment and alleged that several attempts made to get Chief Adun compensate them have not yielded any result.
When contacted, Chief Adun said he was yet to be paid compensation by the Edo State Government.
However, the Edo State government said no compensation for Chief Adun for the demolished shopping complex as it was an illegal structure built without approval.
State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Paul Ohonbamu, said he was not aware of any compensation owed Chief Adun.
However, a top government official who pleaded anonymity said the state government acquired the property for public interest.
The official urged Chief Adun to refund the money to the traders.
According to the source, “The government acquired that place and pulled it down for being an illegal structure. An advertisement was placed inviting anybody that has interest in the place to come forward.
“Somebody has written us stating that he owned the land and was in court with Chief Adun over ownership of the land. Chief Adun should not be talking about compensation when he is yet to proof ownership of the place.”