By Ugochukwu Alaribe – Umuahia
An Abia State High court sitting in Aba has restrained a businessman, Mr Ikenna Madubike from further demolition of a shopping complex with over 80 shops located at No. 31/32 Ngwa road, Aba.
Madubuike, who is the Managing Director of Unimass Nigeria Limited, was alleged to have stormed the shopping plaza also known as Dandico plaza, on October 5, 2018, with thugs, claiming that he bought the property from the owner, D.D. Onyemelukwe Estates Limited. The thugs destroyed traders’ goods worth millions of Naira.
Madubuike was also alleged to have on August 11, 2020, made another attempt where he further demolished the property. Traders at the shopping plaza lost goods worth millions of Naira.
Aggrieved by actions of the businessman, the tenants filed a suit at the High Court, Aba, in Suit No: A/190/2018, Eugene Obiesili & Ors vs Mr Ikenna Madubuike.
Chairman of the traders’ union, Eugene Obiesile, disclosed that the Directors of the company, D.D. Onyemelukwe, Estates Limited, wrote them that the property is still in the company’s name and not for sale to anybody.
He said; “We, the traders are left without any means of income. Our goods looted, cash robbed and shops demolished while the perpetrator of these acts move freely, going about his daily business and boasting that nobody can dare him. He has continued to harass the poor traders and disregarding court orders.
“We have been paying rent to the company. The Directors of the company had issued letters to us, the tenants that the property is still the company’s property and not for sale to anybody.”
In his ruling, Justice I.A. Nwabughiogu ordered the parties to maintain status quo.
“It is hereby ordered as follows; that the parties in the suit (claimants and defendants) are hereby restrained from further demolition of the shops at No. 31/32 Ngwa road, Aba, otherwise known as Dandico plaza pending the determination of the motion on notice.”