May 17, 2017

Dispute as ECTDA demolishes encroachment into ex-Biafra soldier’s property

Dispute as ECTDA demolishes encroachment into ex-Biafra soldier’s property

By Dennis Agbo

ENUGU — THE Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA, has demolished an illegal trespass of a developer, Mr. Ikenna Umeaku, who allegedly encroached nine meters into the property of an ex-Biafran solider, Chief Anthony Nnamani, at plot 565A Chaka Crescent off Nza Street Independence layout Enugu.

The ex-soldier who hung his double barrel gun during the demolition exercise said it was a reprieve after several years of efforts to reclaim a portion of his land from the trespasser who had converted the property to a commercial venture.

Demolition of ex-soldier’s property

Commissioner for Enugu State Capital Territory Development Authority, Mr. Chidi Aroh said the government had to enforce the demolition after four notices were given to the illegal trespasser to remove the fence and buildings without compliance.

Aroh said the government had to do that to make people respect boundaries. “He (the trespasser) attended peace meeting with the other party where he admitted he carried out an illegal encroachment, yet he refused to remove the structure.

“We wrote to the ministry of Lands who confirmed the encroachment and we had to carry out demolition after all attempts at peaceful removal failed,” said Aroh.

However, the alleged trespasser, Umeaku said that Nnamani does not have any title to the plot of land he claims. “In 2012 he (Nnamani) sued me and the government and we responded, in the process, we discovered from his deed of assignment that he does not own any title.”

Umeaku further alleged that Nnamani was only using the instrument of power in the state to intimidate him and gave indication of going to court over the demolition.

Beneficiary of the exercise, Chief Nnamani narrated that the matter started since 2000 when he discovered that the trespasser, Umeaku, had encroached on his residential plot.

Nnamani recalled that the ministry of lands had produced a survey plan indicting nine meters trespass and asked Umeaku to restore the government beacon which he allegedly removed and pulled down Nnamani’s fence to erect his own.

“He refused and in 2004, I wrote another letter to the lands ministry and we all went for an inspection with Umeaku where he demanded to buy the land from me but I refused. When the ministry wanted to go for demolition, he objected, I went to court but withdrew it because it is purely ministry’s duty to enforce compliance.

“In 2016,  I went back to the ministry and also wrote to the capital territory development authority which is the enforcement agency of the government. On January 30, 2017, we were all invited but he refused to come and he was given 14 days to remove the illegal structure.

“So in all, Umeaku was given removal order four times since 2012 and each time, he refused until the letter of May 4, 2017 which brought about this execution,” said Nnamani.