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Land dispute: ‘Stop provoking us’, Abia community warns Imo neighbours

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Land dispute: Stop provoking us! Abia community warns Imo neighbours

By Steve Oko

Umudiawa Community in Umuahia North Council of Abia State has warned its neighbouring Umuoma Community of Imo State to stop encroaching into the disputed land between the duo or brace up for their wrath.

The traditional ruler of the Umudiawa, HRH Eze Nnamdi Ofoegbu who issued the warning while addressing newsmen, vowed that any further provocation by their Imo neighbours would be stoutly resisted.

The royal father explained that the warning had become necessary following the recent disruption by Umuoma locals, of the activities of the developer engaged by the Umudiawa Community to develop some portions of the land.

According to him, the ownership of the said land was decided in favour of Umudiawa Community in February 1958 by the Supreme Court presided over by Chief Justice of the federation, A Ade Ademola, with Justices W H Hurley and S O Qushie-Idum serving as members.

The royal father who was flanked by members of his cabinet during the briefing explained that the judgment was subsequently upheld in 2019 by the Federal High Court Owerri presided over by Justice T G Ringim.

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Part of the judgment read: “In the circumstances, I would dismiss the appeal of the defendants (Umuoma Community) which relates to the two portions of the land to the north and the centre of the plan (edged yellow and green respectively) and in like manner, uphold the plaintiffs appeal with regard to the southern portion of the land (edged green on the plan) but amend the declaration made by the learned trial judge as follows:

“The plaintiffs are granted declaration of the title to a portion of the land claimed and known as Umuhu Ofemiri, namely that portion edged yellow and brown respectively; thus excluding the portion edged green on the exhibit P.1 filed by the plaintiff in this case”.

Adding his voice, the President-General of the Umudiawa Community, Sir Monday Nwokocha observed that the Supreme Court judgment of February 1958 which was also upheld by a Federal High Court sitting in Owerri in 2019 was fair to all the parties in the dispute, adding that learned justices favoured the two communities as it gave them different areas for ownership.

He argued that the said judgment ceded portions of the land to the Umudiawa Community and a different portion to the Umuoma Community and wondered why their neighbours of Umuoma Community have continued to interfere in the portion belonging to Umudiawa.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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