Former Gov. Ugwuanyi: Administration allegedly characterized by illegal acquisition of land
Land scandal which characterized the immediate-past administration of Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, re-echoed yesterday at Ogui Nike Community in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Sources revealed that the alleged land intruders are ex-governor Ugwuanyi and some of his then functionaries.
To this end, the family of Umu Obunoko of Ihewuzhi, Ogui Nike who claim to be the real owners of the land have raised an alarm over what they described as an illegal encroachment, vowing to resist any attempt with their blood if anybody or group of persons try to dispossess them of their ancestral property.
The land in contention is known as “Amofia land in Asata River Layout”, located at densely populated Ogui Nike community in Enugu North Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered that the land was shared among the family members peacefully, some years ago.
Following the activities of land speculators, the Umu Obunoko family had on April 5, this year, through their Counsel/Solicitors petitioned the Commissioner of Police in the state, informing him of the plan to take over their land using men of the Nigerian Police.
The petition entitled: “Report Against plan to take over our clients’ property with the aid of Enugu State Police Command”, noted categorically that Umu Obunoko family are the Customary Owners of the Amofia land in Asata River Layout, Ogui Nike, Enugu.
“It is a private layout belonging to the people of Ogui Nike, in Enugu North L.G.A”, the Petitioners maintained.
Briefing journalists on the development, the eldest son of Dr. Sam Anibueze, Barr. Chidubem Anibueze, said: “We invited the press to come here this morning because of the actions of some persons who were functionaries in the past government of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who want to take over our family land, illegally.
According to him, “They have sustained this attempt to encroach on this our land for a very long time, now.
On a particular occasion, they demolished a house being erected by my Cousin, Rtd General Abel Ani.”
He further stated: “We filed an action against them in court, which lasted over a long period of time. They did not put any defense and Hon. Justice Eya of the Enugu State High Court delivered a judgment in our favor; and our family has taken back our land.
“Barely a week before the expiration of the last dispensation, some persons in the past Administration came here and started bulldozing our property. We resisted and chased them away with their bulldozers.
“They have left office but they still want to come and take our land. I don’t even know how somebody will even reason that way. You enter somebody’s land, the person took you to court, you refused to come to court. After many adjournments, serving you hearing notices, you didn’t file any defence. The court thereafter entered judgment for the Plaintiffs.
Now you want to enter through the back door. Somebody was telling us that they allocated the land to some persons.”
Asked if the family has made any formal notification to the new Government on the issue, Chidubem who is also a Legal Practitioner, said “The new Governor just came and has just been sworn in. We wrote a letter to the Commissioner for Lands about a week before he left office informing him that his people, irrespective of the Judgment of Court, are encroaching on our land.
“He minuted the letter to some of his people and one day a lady came here on the instruction of Director for Lands to ascertain whether this was Government land or not. And after she looked at the survey plans, she told us that she’s sure that this is not Government land and that she was going back to report same. That is how far we have gone. This one happened about two or three weeks before the end of the tenure of the immediate-past administration.
When contacted, the former Speaker, Hon. Edward Ubosi, said: “I’m hearing this for the first time, they told me they have a Judgment against the Government, I asked them if I can see the Judgment. You cannot have a Judgment, and as a lawmaker, I will come into the land.
“We are one family and in a relationship capacity. If I ask the family to give me land, I know they will give me, so I can’t encroach into their land.
“And they know that I have tried for this Ogui as a community so, if I see the Judgment, I will respect it because I cannot fight the judgment since I am a lawmaker.
“The only thing is that I have an allocation here from the Government, but if I see the Judgment and it came before my allocation then my allocation is void.”