Enugu Community Protests Alleged Unlawful Acquisition of their Ancestral Land By Ex-Governor ChimeLatest News, News Across Nigeria, News From The State Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
By IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu
(African Examiner) – The people of Amechi Uwani community in Enugu South- council area of Enugu state Tuesday staged a protest over alleged unlawful acquisition of their ancestral land by the immediate past governor of the state, Sullivan Chime, insisting that the land be returned to them.
African Examiner reports that members of the aggrieved community, had as early as 7am converged at the village town hall premises in their numbers, before proceeding to the disputed land, where the construction of the Enugu centenary city estate allegedly belonging to the former Governor and his younger brother, Jide Chime is ongoing.
The massive ancestral land which is about 300 hectares according to the people, was forcefully and illegally taken from the community by Chime’s administration without any consultation.
Leaders of the community, who spoke to newsmen during the protest, also alleged that Chime, and his younger brother Jide, owns ‘Private Estate international west Africa’, a private company that is developing the controversial Estate.
However, in a petition dated 6th, March, 2017 addressed to Governor Ugwuanyi, and made available to newsmen, the community noted that the Agbana land, as it is called by the people was to be acquired by former governor of old Anambra state, Senator Jim Nwobodo’s, in the 80s as the permanent site of the then Anambra state university of Science and Technology, ASUTEC, now Enugu state university of science and Technology, ESUT.
“We protested, pointing out that the land was the only one left as we had lost all our other land including parts of Independence layout, university of Nigeria, Enugu campus, Nigeria police college, Uwani layout etc.
The petition signed by representatives of various villages that makes up Amechi Uwani, pointed out that past administrations, including that of Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, understood their case and plight, hence the former governor, relocated ESUT to Agbani town.
“Sadly, instead of releasing the land to us, ex- governor Chime who succeeded Nnamani, handed the land to a private developer, private Estate International West Africa, allegedly owned by his brother and others.
“This company is percellating and selling our land without recourse to any law of the land, no negotiation,no compensation.
“We went to court against Enugu state government, and the private developers, and our suit No. E/416/2012 has been pending at the Enugu state High court.
“More than one year ago,the defendants told the court that they wanted out of court settlement and requested time”
“We and the court agreed, but the defendants failed to initiate any negotiation
since then, instead, they have intensified their advert and sell of our land to all sorts of people powerful enough to bully us into abandoning our birth right.
“The general public is hereby warned that the so-called centenary city Estate, Enugu being advertised by a company, private. Estate International West Africa limited does not have the approval and/or consent of the said community, the customary owners of the said lands.
While advising members of the public to avoid any transaction regarding the said centenary Estate for their own interest, the traditional prime Minister of the area, chief Michael Oguejiofor Okenwa,urged Governor Ugwuanyi to as a matter of urgency wade into the matter, with a view to addressing it.
The people had during the protest displayed placards with various inscriptions such as “Give us back our land, as it is no more ESUT” “Agbana centenary land is not for sale, buyers, beware” Ex- governor Chime, allocated over 5, 00 plots to him self” among others.
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