Home News Land dispute: Arthur Eze’s kinsmen warn Anambra Govt to stay off

Land dispute: Arthur Eze’s kinsmen warn Anambra Govt to stay off

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Ukpo community in Dunukafia Local Government Area of Anambra State, has called for the dissolution of the administrative panel of inquiry set up by the state government to look into the Enugwu-Ukwu, Ukpo, Nawfia, Abba, Abagana, Enugu-Agidi and Ukwulu land disputes.
President-general of Ukpo Improvement Union, Oyiliagu Vincent, and the secretary, Mr. Paul Okeke, in a statement said the relevance of the panel had been overtaken by the Supreme Court judgment, which ruled that the land in question rightfully belonged to Ukpo community.
The statement said, “Pronouncements of the Supreme Court are sacrosanct and extant laws, which should not be undermined by parties in the suit.”
It emphasised that the implication of the Supreme Court judgment, delivered on February 15, was that Ukpo community now has the right of occupancy over the disputed land, while frowning at the conduct of Abba community, who allegedly chased away the bailiff that was to serve the enforcement order of the Supreme Court judgment.
The statement described the Ukpo people as a peace-loving, who have lived harmoniously with neighbouring communities for centuries and will, therefore, not encourage any act that would cause breakdown of law and order.
It asked the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to beef up security in the area and to prevent a breakdown of law and order.
Meanwhile, lawyers to Ukpo community, Ibegbu & Ibegbu, have written to the chairman of the land dispute panel of inquiry.
In the letter, dated June 28, 2019, Nnamdi Ibegbu, SAN, made reference to a proceeding of the panel on June 26, 2019, wherein the chairman allegedly made a pronouncement to the effect that the panel was “inviting representatives of both communities to the panel … for the matter to be looked into and determined.”
The letter said the terms of reference of the panel do not cover the land dispute between Ukpo and Abba communities.
It said: “We hereby inform you that any issue arising between Ukpo and Abba is not within your terms of reference. We, therefore, ask you to take a good look at your terms of reference. You should realise that your panel is limited to the issues concerning land between Ukpo and Abagana, which it may interest you has been concluded and determined by the High Court and Appeal.”
Continuing, the letter said: “The appeal of Abagana people was dismissed. That is no longer within your jurisdiction, since you cannot sit on appeal over the judgment of an appellate court,” insisting: “you are chair of enquiry, but not any supervisory court above the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court and should restrain yourself from commenting on judgment of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.”
The lawyers asked the panel to restrain itself from issues “concerning land in relation to Ukpo town,” stating: “If you require any clarification, we can gladly afford you documentary proof. However, your terms of reference are very clear. Any step outside the terms of reference is null and void.”

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