THE people of Nkwelle-Ezunaka Community have refuted the claim that they are set to renew hostility with its neighbour, Osile Community in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State over alleged encroachment on the disputed land located at Agricultural site in Okpuno Ezikwelle.
Sounding the note of warning while reacting to the purported encroachment, the President General of Nkwelle-Ezunaka community, Mr. Ikechukwu Nnalue said: “In 2015, they encroached on our land located at the Agricultural site in Okpuno Ezikwelle, and allocated some portions to butchers, block molders and other artisans, destroyed buildings 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 defeated 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 Honourable 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”.
The PG revealed that they also accused him of shooting people and was taken to Abuja and later released because of his innocence.
“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.
“We call on the state government, 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”.
In his defense, the President General of Osile community, Mr Donatus Mbanefo, after rising from a town hall meeting, denied the allegation and accused Nkwelle -Ezunaka people of selling the said land to land developers.
He hinted that they had obtained Supreme Court judgment on the disputed land in 2012 in their favour.
According to him, the judgment with accompanying surveyor plan has 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.