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Land tussle: Ex-OMATA President drags 15 to court, demands N30m compensation for damages

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By Phil Okose Onitsha

The Former President of defunct Onitsha Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, OMATA, Chief Gilbert Obi, (a.k.a. Bravo) (plaintiff) has dragged 15 persons (defendants) to an Idemili high court sitting in Ogidi over encroachment on piece of land (Nkputankpu land) in Ire village, Obosi, Idemili North Local Government Area, he told the court belonged to him.

Among those he dragged to court included, Ebuka Obidozie, Chukwudi Ukpabi, Chinedu Okafor, Uchenna Obiekwu, Obunike Obiekwu, John White Christian Eze) Chukwunwe Ibenwa and Okwudili Okeke.

Others were, Nnamdi Onuekwe, Onyekwelu Anyaneto, Degaulle Offor, Chukwuma Okoloudo, Kenneth Ani, Johnson Enyi and Augustine Chibueze.

In the suit No. HID/129/2004, he urged the court Presided over by Justice Irene Ndigwe, to grant his prayers.

The plaintiff prayed among other reliefs, Special and general damages in the sum of N30million, which he said N20million was cost of replacement  of concrete survey beacons and fences damaged by the defendants while N10million was for general damages.

Chief Obi also alleged that the buildings on the disputed land be demolished by the defendants at their own risk. He further prayed for a declaration of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their agents, privies, servants, thugs or security personnel used by them from interfering or further interfering or tampering or do anything prejudicial and or inconsistent with the right of the plaintiff or use of the above recited pieces or parcels of land shown in survey plan No. EP/AN1377/83, plan No. EP/AN 1381/83, PLAN NO FALS/MISC/AN 210/96 by the plaintiff.

Also a declaration that the plaintiff is the bonafide owner in possession and occupation and indeed the holder of a customary right of occupancy certificate issued by the then Idemili Local Govt dated the 13th day of August 1986 and registered as instrument No. 15 at page 15 in volume 1185 of the Deeds Registrar in lands Registry in the office then at Enugu and now at Awka in respect of all that piece or  parcel of land lying being situate at and called Odouzuzu land Ire village Obosi now in Idemili North Local Govr Area, Anambra state.

The absence of a witness due to ill health to testify prompted the presiding Justice Ndigwe, to adjourn the matter to 6th, 12th and 27th of May 2021.

Speaking outside the court counsel to plaintiff, P.C. Ogbuli who was represented by Barr Ikem Nwanegbo said the matter was adjourned because of absence of a witness and the counsel to the defendant. Barr Chidozie Ogbueli corroborated his words to the press adding that it is going to be a kind of accelerated hearing.

Also speaking outside the court, the plaintiff, chief Obi said that the problem these days is the issue of land grabbing adding that it is high time courts address the problem once and for all.

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