The Joint Military Task Force code named Operation Pluto Shield was weekend put on red alert following rising tension in Okpokunnuo town of Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State over the arrest and detention of Four prominent members of the Community over the controversy that trailed a land deal between the community and the management of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
While the operatives of the JTF were reportedly deployed to patrol the tensed area and check rising discontent against the oil multinational, the legal counsels to the arrested persons have written to the Presidency, the authorities of the JTF and the SPDC of their position on the issue and accused a Traditional Ruler and few others of provoking possible violence in the oil rich area.
In a petition written to the Commander of the Joint Military Task Force in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the law firm of the aggrieved Youth Leaders, PP. Enetimi Law firm, alleged that the rising tension in the area was provoked by the threat to the lives and detention of the Four youth leaders over the illegal sale of land belonging to Agoduware and Ogboware families of Burutu Council Area.
According to the petition to the JTF, the 2011 arrest of Chief Safugha Gilbert, Arekedoumene Safugha, Dennis Egena and Shylock Omukoro, over the illegal sale of the disputed land is responsible for the fear of possible violence against the SPDC and the accused indigenes involved in the sales, ”that the several letters to the SPDC on the illegal acquisition of the disputed land has led to a conspiracy between some prominent indigenes and illegal detention of the land owners in a community cell to stop them from appearing before the JTF in Asaba.”