July 10, 2024

House destroyed as two Anambra villages fight over land

Anambra Villages

By Vincent Ujumadu

Awka- A protracted land dispute between the Uruowelle kindred of Nkwelle village and the Umuogu family of Umueze village, both in Umunnachi, Dunukofia local government area of Anambra State, has rendered one of the families in the community homeless as his house was set ablaze and walls of his compound destroyed.

The owner of the house, Chukwuebuka Okenwa has relocated from the area following an alleged threat to his life.

The destruction occurred despite a Supreme Court ruling on the matter as one of the parties allegedly vowed not to obey the court order.

Recently one of the parties trespassed on the disputed land during which the bungalow was set ablaze and the fence destroyed.

The destruction occurred shortly after the resolution’s publication and report on the findings of Umunnachi Peace and Reconciliation Committee led by Dr. Peter Offorah.

It was gathered that the land dispute started many years ago and after several interventions by the various bodies came to no avail, the Uruowelle kindred through her representatives – Chief Michael Onwuka, Chief Augustine Okeke and Mr Patrick Oraegbunam – took the matter to Awka High Court and sued their Umuogu kindred neighbours..

Ten years ago, Hon. Justice Ignatius Agube of the Court of Appeal set aside a High Court judgment on the matter and granted the plaintiffs’ claims.

The defendants, Simeon Muodili, Ben Enujioke and Gabriel Azotani, appealed to the Supreme Court in suit no SC/528/2014 against the Appeal Court decision which was unsuccessful as the Supreme Court still dismissed the appeal under Order 6 Rule 3(2) of the Supreme Court Rules 1998 as amended.

Not satisfied with the dismissal of the appeal by the apex court, they again brought an application seeking an order of the Supreme Court to set aside its earlier dismissal and relist the appeal for hearing, which the Supreme Court in a ruling delivered on 18th December 2020 by Justice Musa Abba Aji, unanimously refused.

Worried by the happenings in their community, the Umuada Umunnachi (daughters of Umunnachi married in Umunnachi) unanimously urged the people of Umueze to respect the final and sacrosanct decision of the Supreme Court in the land dispute between them and Uruowelle kindred of Nkwelle village.

The 11 man committee was made up of two persons from each village and one person representing Umuada.