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[This document I had copied with hand in pieces of paper the first two or three of which are missing, the reason this file is truncated]

 

Persuade government to allow the matter to drop but every pea of his was answered by a quotation from Nana Tariki’s reports on this matter and more than a year after those reports were written Tolosi had to be brought to trial.

Tolosi was one of many Oworos who had left their homes to reside in Lokoja Cantonment which at that time was outside of Kabba Province. It had never been suggested that he  and others who had moved there had forfeited their rights to oil palm they owned in Aworo. What Aworos insisted (not their chief alone as the papers seem to imply) was that customary laws forbade the letting of oil palm to a non-resident. Tolosi admitted this but pleaded that this law had been abrogated.

The feeling in Aworo against him and other absentee landlords was so intense that for some months before this trial police had had to be employed to protect these gathering forest produce in Aworo for absentee landlords or absentee leases.(There was no political officer at Agbaja from Jan 1912  - September 1912) Te trial lasted three days or more owing to the difficulty of deciding in such a prejudiced atmosphere what was reliable evidence as to Aworo custom governing the letting of forest produce and when sentence was pronounced there was wild rejoicing among the huge crowd which had attended each day outside the court.

These papers give a wrong idea of the then chief of Aworo toward Tolosi. He tried to help Tolosi as much as he dared (he hadn’t much authority) in the face of the strong opposition

H P James 9.9.31

[Annotation to paragraph 83. Lokoprof 569/1918. Aworo District C. K. Meek.]

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