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NURTW sues Onitsha family, police for N135m over levy

By Nwabueze Okonkwo

ONITSHA— Members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Anambra State branch have dragged the Abomeli family of Onitsha and some police officers to an Ogidi High Court demanding N135 million from them jointly and severally as compensation for allegedly levying an unlawful execution inside their motor park.

The protesting NURTW members

The defendants included Anuenyi Bridget Abomeli, Nnabuenyi Obiekwe Abomeli and  her son, Abadom Casmir Ekene; Onykachi Anthony Egbunike (a legal practitioner), Augustine Nwaolisa and Obinna Ajaegbue (their agents); Ebele Mbamali and Chris Ekwenibe (Managers of Onitsha South Local Government Mass Transit Company); Sunday Okpeh, Nwali and Obia Mbara (police officers from Awkuzu SARS).

In a statement of claim filed on their behalf at the Ogidi High Court Registry, by their counsel, Chinedu Obodoeze, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration of the court that the defendants’ self-help to attempt to eject them from their motor park, using fake writ of execution from a Magistrate’s court to levy an execution in their motor park, destruction of the buildings and property amounted to trespass to the plaintiffs’ right of peaceable possession.

They are also seeking an order of the court mandating the defendants to pay them N50 million for the three buildings they destroyed in the course of levying an execution inside their motor park on  Sunday, July 12, this year, using the fake writ of execution from the Magistrate Court.

The plaintiffs also sought an order mandating the defendants to pay them another N5 million for the economic trees they destroyed during the execution, N20 million for trespass to the plaintiffs’ right of possession and an additional N600 million as general and exemplary damages against them for their unlawful act and inconveniences caused them.

In the Suit No. HID/231/2017, the plaintiffs averred that Late Akunne Augustine Abomeli, husband of Anuenyi Bridget Abomeli, the   first plaintiff and father to the second plaintiff, Nnabuenyi Obiekwe Abomeli had reached an agreement/understanding with them and lease-purchased a piece of land situated at Plot No. ! Awka road, Onitsha for use as motor park in 1986 for 50-year lease and has been paying them monthly rent for the park.

They also averred that the agreement/understanding reached between them, through the then state chairman of NURTW, Late Olisa Innoma and the defendants through their father, Late Abomeli was that at the expiration of the 50 year-lease, the land would become a bonafide property of the plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs further averred that sometime in February, 2016, they went to pay their monthly rent of N10,000 to the second defendant and he refused to collect it, informing them that he would like to revoke the agreement/understanding reached between them and his late father in 1986 in order to reclaim the possession of the land, they were shocked.

They stated that while still pondering about the attempt to revoke the understanding, the plaintiffs now armed the three police officers being the 9th, 10th and 11th defendants with the fake writ of execution and together, they all stormed the park on the fateful day and levied the execution, without minding whose ox is gored.


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