3 families sue govt. for N3b over land trespass, destruction of property

Three families in Amechi-Uwani Awkunanaw, Enugu South Local Government Area have sued the Enugu State Government for alleged forceful entry and destruction of property.

In a suit filed before Justice Ngozi Emehelu of the state high court on Tuesday, the plaintiffs, through their counsel, Chief Ogochukwu Ogolo (SAN), are seeking a compensation of N3 billion from the defendants.

The defendants are Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, the Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, FIT Consult Ltd. and Chief Loreta Aniagolu.

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The plaintiffs are the Umuewoukwu, Umueneugwu and Umunnajiagaegbe families and the plots of land are located at the New Independence Layout on the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway.

When the matter was called up for hearing, the state government was not represented in the court.

Ogolo told the court that it had been difficult to serve Aniagolu and then moved a motion for substituted service on her, which was granted by the court.

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The matter was adjourned till Nov. 22 for hearing.

A representative of the plaintiffs, Chief Cyril Nganwuchu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the state government without any form of dialogue allegedly took over their property on the pretext of building an estate.

“These are plots of land that we developed between 1986 and 1988 in the old Anambra State.

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“We have the gazette and certificate of occupancy and previous administrations respected that.

“The current administration just came, bulldozed into the land, destroying all economic trees, beacons, fences and buildings that were already at various levels of completion,” he said.

Nganwuchu said that the three phases of land belonging to the families were their legal and ancestral inheritance and appealed to the state government to hands off the plots.

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