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A’Ibom monarch berates ex-lawmaker over comments on communal dispute

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By Theresa Ukpong, Uyo

A traditional ruler in Akwa Ibom, Chief Aniedi Ebong, village head of Ifa Ikot Akpan, Uyo local government area of Akwa Ibom, has berated a former national assembly member for boasting that he would use his connections to upturn a court case against his community.

Chief Ebong had alleged that Mr Bassey Etim, who was also the Uyo Senatorial District candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019, had boasted through his supporters that he could influence the outcome of a court case involving his community, Ibiaku Essiet in Uruan local council and Ifa village in Uyo local.

The traditional ruler, who spoke after the Appeal Court in Calabar gave judgement in favour of Ifa village, alleged that the former lawmaker boasted that the Supreme Court judge would act in favour of Ibiaku Essiet because of the part he played on the judge’ emergence in office.

“I wonder how he will bribe the Supreme Court judge against us on the case that has no counterclaim, no evidence to show that Ibiaku Issiet village owns the landed property they are struggling with us. I want the public to be aware of the intimidation Bafil is bringing on us here.

“We, the people of Ifa – Ikot Akpan, Ikot Idang and Ikot Ntuen are vindicated by our oppressor in Ibiaku Issiet from the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal of Nigeria in Calabar Judicial Division holden at Calabar, Appeal No. CA/C/342/2019, Suit No: Hu/71/2017; the judgment has clearly stated that the parcel of land from the boundary between Idim Uduok in Ibiaku Issiet and Ifa Ikot Akpan left down to a place known and called Keke-motor park belong to Ifa Ikot Akpan community and Ifa people.

“Let me use this privilege to warn the innocent public that anybody who buys any landed property or building from Ibiaku Issiet people does that at his or her own risk, the property belongs to us and our people, the competent court of jurisdiction have confirmed that.

“While I’m waiting for the award of the cost of fifty thousand Naira from them to me by the court, I will not fail to arrest and prosecute any attempted trespass on our land”, he vowed.

“I have passed through a lot on this age-long battle which my ancestors started years ago and I am happy that justice is done in my reign on the throne, how can Ibiaku Issiet people lie that, one Ekong their Ancestors deforested all virgin forest across Ibiaku Issiet, Ifa Ikot Akpan, Mbikpong Atai, Ifa Ikot Abia and Ikot Edung all alone? which was not possible,” he said.

Etim, when contacted said he was not involved in the case, as it’s between two villages and not him as an individual; while the court had since awarded a N10 million fine on the defendants to be paid to Ifa village.

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