By Dennis Agbo
The Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA, has obtained a court order empowering it to demolish an alleged illegal residence of the Chancellor of Coal City University, CCU, Mr. Chinedu Ani, that blocking the thoroughfare linking Onoh Quarters in Ekulu GRA to Oshimili up to Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.
There was a road that led to Ekulu River with a bridge from GRA to the Expressway, but when our correspondent visited the area yesterday, the road terminated at Ani’s residence.
When contacted, Ani said: “That was how I found it. I bought land from the Onohs. They sold it to me and said there is no road there. The same people that sold the place to me said there was no road there when I bought the land.
“They are the same people that sold the bridge because I am sure you can’t jump the bridge and you have to add to your report that I tarred that place with my private money and I put up those street lights and I am paying for it.”
Vanguard learned that Rockonoh Property Company limited, had petitioned the ECTDA, alleging that Ani in 2015, blocked the thoroughfare, adding that it had approached an Enugu High Court over the matter.
Chairman/Managing Director of Rockonoh property, Mr. GB Onoh, told Vanguard that the matter is in the public domain.
In the petition to ECTDA, GB Onoh said: “Chinedu Ani’s actions, should in no way be condoned and should face the same fate as others like him who place their individual interests over that of the masses. His illegal blockage should be brought down and the Bailey Bridge restored.”
Subsequently, the ECTDA said that it had on two occasions written to Ani asking him to furnish the agency with his building approval, survey plan and any other relevant document to prove that he did not contravene town planning regulation.
The court order issued on December 16, 2020, Chief Magistrate Grade 1, Alex Amalu, ordered the respondent, Chinedu Ani, to open the access road linking Onoh Crescent and Oshimili Street.
The Court said: “The respondent is ordered to open the water way illegally acquired and annexed to his property.”
It also ordered Ani to provide the ECTDA approved building plan and title documents within 21 days, adding that if he has no approval, he should pay the contravention fees and violation charges to the state government within seven days.
“And the commissioner of police and Commander of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps are directed to provide security during the execution by the applicant if the respondent fails to comply with the directives of the applicant to maintain law and order at all times,” the court further ordered.
The agency also said it confirmed from the state ministry of Lands and Urban Development that the road which Ani blocked exists in its record, adding that there was no approval for closure of the access road and the natural waterway.
The agency further disclosed that it received a letter from Karastan Company limited, denying the sale of any land directly to Ani but to three others who Ani bought the portions of land from to make his plot a total land area of 5,081.72 square meters in addition to another 727.720 square meters, as shown in plan No. DA/EN231/2015.
Meanwhile, in a chat with Vanguard, Onoh said: “The outcome of this will now be a test for ECTDA that has been accused even by the clergy of enforcing development control on only the poor. I have always been accused of selective justice but we have always tried to be professional in our approach in all our dealings. We are not biased. This administration has never been selective.”