Tuesday, August 11, 2020

CLO accuses Enugu State govt of land grabbing in Ugwuaji - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The Enugu state Government has been accused of forcefully hijacking community lands in Ugwuaji Autonomous Community, Enugu South Local Government of the state, reports ITREALMS.

This accusation came through a letter raised by the Civil Liberty Organization (CLO) South East Chapter, in which they are pointing accusing finger on the Governor of Enugu State, Chief. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the State Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Vitus Okech, General Manager State Housing Development Corporation, Mr. Chuks Agu.

The organization also extended the accusation to Mr. Ozor, Mr. Nwodo Al’as Stainless.Also included were Mr. Mathew Nnyia, Joseph Onuh and Okafor Ugwu.

According to CLO the said Layout is a land of Ndiaga/Umunnugwu who called a surveyor firm KOR Surveying & Investment Company Limited owned by Surv. Raphael C. Chukwu to do a Layout of their lands and that he the Surveyor will be paid by percentage.

The letter went ahead to indicate that the Surveyor firm went into survey and mapping out the lands into Layout, creating roads while the mapping resulted to 1006 plots of lands, based on the agreement reached 18% of the 1006 plots and lands for expenditure.

Based on the agreement reached in 2012 both the Surveyor firm and the villages agreed that the Surveyor bear all the expenditure on the survey and mapping of the layout and to be paid in percentage through allocation of lands to him/his company.

The CLO further in saying that after the Surveyor was settled by the Community he worked for in 2013, a group from nearby village with the name Isiagu Youths Ugwuaji, raised issue in 2019 that the lands given to the Surveyor’s firm is theirs.

The CLO also accused the Isiagu Youths of harassing the Survey firm staff, demolishing fence erected by the firm, creating obstruction to the firm from accessing and harnessing the fruit of their labour.

In his reaction, Surv. R. C. Chukwu, the Principal partner in KOR Surveying & Investment Company Ltd who had contract with the two villages in Ugwuaji, the Isiagu Youths are the stumbling block that are preventing his firm from utilizing the plots given to them for the work they did.

The genesis of the matter started in 2012 when the Ndiaga and Umunnugwu villages approached the Surveyor’s firm, KOR Surveying & Investment Company Limited, for a Private Partnership Project and the contract dated 2012 was entered by both parties.

The contract was made between the KOR Company and the following: Sunday Ani, Ifekandu Edeh, Sunday Nwankwo, Ifeanyi Nfiaji, Ogbodo Ozoemena .A., Aniagu Okwudiri, Eneh Chizoba, Ogbodo Emmanuel, Atu Chimobi, Okoh Henry .O., Aninwene Bonaventure, Ugwu Gideon and Agbo Don Luky who signed for themselves and on behalf of the Umunnugwu and Nidaga families/villages.

The term of agreement was 18 per cent; the calculation was 18 per cent of 1006 which is 181 and another four(4) plots given for expenditure, making the plots 185.

Having done the job and in fulfillment of terms of the contract, a Deed of Assignment was entered into in 2013. The Deed of Assignment was made between KOR Surveying & Investment Company Limited and the representatives of Umunnugwu and Ndiaga Villages and Families, in respect of the 185 (One Hundred and Eight Five) Plots.

The claim of the Isiagu Youths on the land started the trouble. During the interview Surv. Chukwu stated that the Isiagu people have no right over the land they are claiming, as it does not belong to them.

As said by him, the boundary between Valley Layout of Isiagu (E/378) and Umunnugwu/Ndiaga Layout (E/412) is a 12 meter road, pointing out that the Isiagu Village have sold their own lands known as Valley Layout to the Academic Staff Union of University(ASUU), UNN Chapter.

Surv. Chukwu stated that the crisis started on January 28, 2020, when he sent his staff to the site to replant survey beacons removed by unknown persons. While the workers and the clients were on the site 4 Isiagu Youths came and armed with short guns confiscated the workers Survey equipments (TOTAL STATION) and drove them away. Those that came were: Maduabuchi Egbo, Uchenna Agwu, Nnanna Ugwu and Chidiebere Okorie.

The encroachment by the Isiagu Youths did not go down well with the Umunnugwu Youths who are co-owners of the Ndiaga/Ummunugwu layout.

Reacting, the Youth Chairman Umunnugwu community, Hon. Daniel Ani, stated that when the lsiagu youths went into encroachment of the land, Umunnugwu youths called the lsiagu youths to order.

They tried to reason with them on the need for peace to reign, but they refused to listen instead the lsiagu youths came to Umunnugwu destroyed things and caused havoc in the community.

The Youths Chairman went ahead to say that instead of them the Umunnugwu Youths to fight back, they wrote petition to the IRT of the IGP of Enugu office, some men were sent and two people were arrested Prince Uchenna Igwedinma and Mr. lsaiah Ogbodo, the arrested people who are from lsiagu at the Police station pleaded that there should be settlement, promising that there would be no more trouble, it was agreed that peace should reign.

In January 2020, the Isiagu Youths started planning another attack on Umunnugwu community. This led to the Umunnugwu people going back to the IRT Enugu where they had earlier reported the matter.

On the day that the IRT visited lsiagu, the lsiagu Youths were holding meeting, but said that instead of interrupting the meeting and therefore left without any arrest.

According to the Youths leader who was the person who went with the Police to lsiagu, as the Police vehicle was about to move the lsiagu youths started throwing stones and bottles on the Police vehicle and also fired guns shot. Mr. Ani said that it was the gun shots that made the Police to go on self defense and that after the whole thing that day, there was no arrest or death.

Pix: Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State

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