Anambra monarch, subjects bicker over access road
By Praise Necherem
Residents of Satellite Top Estate, Umunya in Oyi local government area of Anambra state have raised the alarm over what they termed unprovoked blockage of the access roads to their buildings by the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Chris Onyekwuluje.
They said they could not access their buildings due to heaps of sand allegedly dumped at the entrance of their buildings at the instance of the monarch, and called on the state government to call the traditional ruler to order.
Orient Daily gathered that the land where the estate was developed had been a subject of litigation since 2010 between two families in Umunya – Nwoye-Ugo and Onyekwuluje.
Addressing newsmen yesterday, chairman of the estate, Emmanuel Ubadigbo, alleged that the traditional ruler had invaded the estate through arm-wielding thugs who carried out the blockage of their homes.
He revealed that the estate residents had duly purchased the land from the Nwoye-Ugo family in Umunya for residential purposes in 2011 and invested much to make the place habitable by providing access roads, electricity and security.
He said, “We were, however, shocked when the traditional ruler of Umunya wrote us through a lawyer to provide documents showing that we were the true owners of the land in the estate.
“We even heard that they threatened to maim us if we had appeared during the activity. What we find difficult to understand is why the monarch should be involved in this kind of nefarious activity.”
According to Ubadigbo, their blockage resulted from their refusal to respond to the monarch’s demands. “We are not indigenes of Umunya. We are a cooperative group and we bought this land from the Nwoye-Ugo family in 2011 and ever since then, we have invested huge amount of money in developing this estate.
“We equally pay all the development levies in Umunya town, which the Igwe collects. Why the Igwe will, all of a sudden, demand that we produce the documents we used to purchase the lands is what we don’t know because we did not buy the lands from him,” he added.
Reacting, representative of the acclaimed owners of the land, Samuel Nwoye-Ugo backed the legitimacy claims of the transfer of ownership by the residents. “I gave the land to the occupants of the estate when they approached us for residential area. We stand by them and will always do because they are genuine. Let them leave this people alone,” he said.
When contacted, the Umunya traditional ruler, Igwe Onyekwuluje confirmed that the land had been a subject of litigation between the Nwoye Ugo and Onyekwuluje families since 2010. He, however, explained that the documents being requested by the Onyekwuluje family was to ascertain whether the other party actually sold those plots of land when there was a subsisting order against further actions on the land.
He said, “Assuming that Nwoye-Ugo sold these lands to them, I don’t think the occupants will lose anything because all we need to do is to go back to court and let it known that Nwoye-Ugo had gone into the land when it was a subject of litigation.
“The family of Lazarus Onyekwuluje and the Nwoye-Ugo family own the land in question and it has been in court since 2010. What we did was to write the occupants of the Satellite Estate to show the papers with which they got the land within seven days.
“Now, a month had elapsed and we haven’t seen the documents. What the Onyekwuluje family did was to create access to the said estate and, in the course, use the sands to block the entrance of the buildings so that they can come forward with the documents proving their ownership of the lands they are occupying.”
The monarch however denied personal handling of the matter in his capacity as king, explaining that the action came from the entire Onyekwuluje family. He also refuted alleged denied invasion of the estate with thugs to maim the occupants.