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Excitement as Anambra community wins 33-year-long land dispute

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Praise Necherem

It was jubilation galore in Ubahumoerie village Isieke, Okija in Ihiala local government area of Anambra state following a court victory over a 33-year-long land case.

The large expanse of land is located at Utuogwe around Urasi River.

In a 41-page judgement, delivered in the High Court of Aguata Judicial Division, Ekwulobia before Hon Justice C. N. Mbonu-Nwenyi in Suit No. 0/33/88, the Isieke Okija community members, who were defendants in the land matter, won the case against the plaintiffs, Umunkwo village, Ogbakuba in Ogbaru local government area of the state.

Reacting to the court victory, an 88-year-old community leader, Chief Ezinna Ekwegbara who revealed that he was among six others who appeared as defendants in the legal tussle at the beginning, said he was the only surviving defendant.

“Among the six of us who appeared as defendants in the legal tussle at the beginning, I’m the only serving defendant as the rest died before the court judgement. Though I can’t attribute their death to the land case because I’m not God.

“The land dispute lasted about seven years outside court before the plaintiffs sued them while we won the case 33 years after legal battle.”

Ekwegbara revealed that his community was planting, fishing and harvesting from the area in dispute while the case lasted, just as he thanked God that no casualty was recorded from both sides before judgement was given in their favour. 

Assuring that everybody would be carried along but would be ready to file behind those who fought the court battle, the octogenarian appealed to the government to assist the community to ensure the judgement was executed to its logical conclusion without any infringement.  

One of the counsel who led the community to victory, L.E.M. Danielson attributed the legal victory to a mixture of expertise and those he described as fantastic witnesses who were able to marshal out facts that assisted in prosecution of the land matter.

Another member of the community, Chief Asuegwu Romanus who was part of the success story regretted that many of the indigenes distanced themselves from the matter while it lasted. 

“So, the law is there even though the law is not static because it keeps changing, according to circumstances. The sole priority of any good court is to do justice in a matter before it. 

“Then, also, you talk about facts. Facts are presented by witnesses and a lawyer cannot be a witness in a matter that he is doing. So, we had very fantastic witnesses who were able to marshal out their facts before the court because it is not the lawyer that you will convince in a case but you convince the court, ” he said.

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