Ebonyi Indigenes Accuse Umahi Of Land Grabbing


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There is tension in Ebonyi as state government allegedly destroys buildings and other properties worth millions belonging to indigenes of the state.

Newsmen gathered that the alleged wanton destruction of properties followed a legal action brought against the state by Nwantinti Christopher and others over non-payment of compensation.

Recall we reported that the governor is not eager to compensate about 3000 house owners.
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Counsel to the petitioners, Gerald U. Abonyi who disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Abuja alleged that there are cases of continuous physical assault being meted out to the petitioners.

He said the assault started after petitioners complained of destructions of properties and farmlands with no form of agreement or compensation from the State Government.

Abonyi explained that in the pending suit No. FHC/A1/CS/82/19 Christopher and five others dragged the Attorney-General of Ebonyi State and Ebonyi State House of Assembly to the Federal High Court, sitting in Abakaliki, the state capital.

But the lawyer who was palpably disturbed said the state government has resorted to self-help by engaging its agents and representatives of Governor Dave Umahi to harass, threaten lives and destroy properties belonging to the applicants and their families.

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Part of what the lawyer said reads, “Gentlemen of the press, Our attention has been drawn to the continued attack and physical assaults being meted out to the Applicants in the above suit and members of their families by the Agents, Assigns and Representatives of the Governor of Ebonyi State, His Excellency Sir Engr. Dave Umahi because they filed actions in court complaining about their imminent extinction and destruction of properties and farmland without any form of agreement or compensation from the State Government.

“It is taken as trite that the Land Use Act makes provision for compensation in the event of acquisition of land for public interest and our clients referred above has neither taken the law into their hands but filed actions in court seeking Justiciable remedy.

“The current situation in Ebonyi State remains critical as the Applicants in the afore referred case are being haunted, harassed with the deployment of armed thugs who in one instance threatened to burn down the entire house of the 1st Applicant – Mr. Nwantiti Eze and k**l all the occupants therein only yesterday the 1st day of December 2019.

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“We concede that the airport project in Ebonyi State is a laudable project but also one that shall also benefit the living. Being a matter now subjudice as in above, we insist that the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State and his assigns and agents must respect the rule of law while we await the decision of the court”.

But when contacted, the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to Governor Dave Umahi, Francis Nweze said he didn’t know of the development but dismissed the allegation as untrue.