Nkwelle Ezunaka Accuse Neighbouring Community Of Trespass | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nkwelle Ezunaka Accuse Neighbouring Community Of Trespass

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Posted: Sep 11, 2016 at 8:41 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
By Chukwukewu Ilozue.
AWKA – Nkwelle Ezunaka Community at the weekend raised the alarm that Osile village of Ogbunike has allegedly encroached on its portion of a disputed land located at Agricultural site in Okpuno Ezikwelle area of Anambra State.
Similarly, barely one week ago, Osile village in Ogbunike town in Oyi Local Government Area of the state petitioned Governor Willie Obiano over what it described as encroachment on its land by neighbouring Nkwelle Ezunaka Community.
But at the weekend, the people of Nkwelle Ezunaka Community carried placards urging Osile Community to desist from encroachment on the land, warning that it would not sit down and see Osile people take their land.
Ikechukwu Nnalue, President General of Nkwelle-Ezunaka, gave the history of the disputed portion of land saying that his community has so far lost over N40 million worth of property to the encroachment.
Nnalue said, “In 2015 they (Osile village) encroached on our land located at the Agricultural site in Okpuno Ezikwelle, allocated some portions to butchers, block molders and other artisans, robbed, looted, stole, destroyed buildings, raped, and damaged our economic crops.
“We lost N40 million worth of property. They did these without respecting the Enugu Appeal Court order that nobody should enter the land pending the determination of the substantive suit filed by Osile people when we defeated them in the lower courts.
“We won them in 1927 when Stephenson gave judgment against them and in 1935 when Hanson gave judgment that he stood by the judgment of Stephenson and they dragged us to Otuocha High court presided over by Hon. Justice Joseph Nweze and the judge directed that  both of us should go and measure our land which we did, but  Osile did not and instead went to Enugu Appeal Court and the appellant court directed that nobody should enter the land in dispute pending the determination of the suit.
“But now Osile people have encroached on it,” he alleged.
Nnalue said he was later accused of shooting people and was taken to Abuja and later released because of his innocence.
He lamented, “They should not see our obedience to court directive as weakness. We are law-abiding citizens and always respect the court. They should steer clear of our land.
“The boundary is Nkisi river, through old Aguleri road, from Osile- Umunya- Nteje-Aguleri. But today they said it is agricultural road that is the demarcation and it is false.
He warned them to stop entering the land. “Government should help us; they boast that they have people at the corridors of power who will help them to take over our land,” he alleged.
“We call on the state government, National Boundary Commission and Surveyor General of the Federation to prevail on Osile people to abide by the court order and also help us to restore our land from Osile land grabbers,” he said.
Some elders of the community among them Louis Ekemuo Mmadubuagha, Edwin Nwoye and Josephat Nwakwesiri, corroborated Nnalue stating that the Nkisi River is the boundary between both communities and expressed surprise that Osile people crossed the river to lay claim to their land.
In his reaction, however, Donatus Mbanefo, President General of Osile community, denied allegation of encroachment and accused Nkwelle -Ezunaka people of selling the said land to developers.
He claimed that his community obtained Supreme Court judgment on the disputed land in 2012 in their favour.
According to him, the judgment with accompanying surveyor plan had been submitted to the state boundary commission and wondered why it had not been enforced.
He warned the illegal developers to steer clear of the land, stating that the community would use all legal means to recover their land.