Enugu Community Drags Ugwuanyi to Court over Land

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The people of Amechi Uwani, Awkunanaw, in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State have sued the state government over alleged illegal acquisition and sale of their ancestral land claiming N50 billion damages against the respondents.

Those sued include the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and the Commissioner for Lands, Solomon Onah. Others include the FIT Consult Ltd, Extreme Quality Ltd and the state Police Commissioner.

In a suit with number FHC/EN/CS/129/2016 before the Federal High Court on behalf of the plaintiffs by the registered Trustees of Initiative for Advancement of Fundamental Rights in Nigeria, the people accused the state government of allegedly orchestrating the killing of three of their relations to create the impression that the land  in question was in dispute, in order to acquire it.

According to the Plaintiffs, those killed included Nnaemeka Agbo, Sunday Nnamani and Nnamani Ikpa. They further stated that although a state governor had powers to acquire public land for over-riding public interest, the same governor had no powers to sell people’s land so acquired to individuals as was currently the practice where land was being shared into plots and sold at about N10 million to private developers.

They then sought the declaration of the court presided over by Justice Rosemary  Oghoghorie that “the expropriation and sale  thereof, of the Ayo River Layout; Be-Nwekeode property; Akani Zhinne property; Ogoyo property, Owere- Abayi property as well as Igu Azizi property now re-named HELIU Residences at the New Independence Layout, Enugu by the government is a ”flagrant abuse of the right to property which is guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and peoples’ right (Ratification and Enforcement Act),” among others.

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Meanwhile, Justice Oghoghorie has adjourned the case till February 14, 2017.

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