A family of six based in Abakaliki has cried out over the seizure of their farmland allegedly on the orders of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state without any form of agreement or compensation from the state government, even as he alleged harassment by the same government.
Head of the family, Mr. Nwantinti Christopher Eze in suit No FHC/A1/CS/82/19 filed at the Federal High Court Abakaliki against the seizure of their ancestral land claimed that they have not only been harassed but received death threats by unknown persons who are uncomfortable with their position.
The family through their counsel, Mr Gerald U. Abonyi, in a statement made available in Abuja Monday, argued that the decision by the state government ran contrary to the provision of land use Act which provides for compensation in event of acquisition of Land for public interest.
The statement said: “Our attention has been drawn to the continuous attack and physical assaults been meted out to the applicants (residents) in the suit and members of their family by the Agents, Assigns and Representatives of Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi.
“The reason is only the fact that they filed actions at the Federal High Court Abakaliki, complaining about their imminent extinction and destructions 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 event of acquisition of Land for public interest and our Clients have 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 been haunted, harassed with the employ and deployment of armed thugs who in one instance threatened to burn down the entire house of Eze.”
According to the statement, armed thugs also threaten to kill all the occupants therein.
“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 rule of law must respected by Ebonyi Government and its assigns and agents while we await the just decision of the court,” the residents quoted as saying in the statement.
When contacted for reaction, the Ebonyi state commissioner for information, Uchenna Orji, however faulted the claim by the family arguing they lacked the moral latitude to demand compensation for the land.
Orji insist the family is making an issue out of the land “where there is no case.”
He noted: “The people within the place did (gave) it consensually even without the prompting of government through the traditional leadership. The airport when constructed will be one of the best in Nigeria. It is going to be an international airport. It will create jobs,” he said.
“If you read your law very well, (compensation) is for economic trees, or developed property. Where such arises, government does not hesitate in doing that. The remuneration has been made on such property, developed property and economic trees.”
COVID-19: Ebonyi Indigenes in Diaspora Pray for Gov. Umahi’s Speedy Recovery
The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora (AESID) world-wide has extended its heartfelt sympathy to the governor of Ebonyi state, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, who recently announced that he has been tested positive to the Coronavirus disease on the wee hours of Saturday, July 4th, 2020.
In a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, signed by the President, World-wide of AESID, Ambassador Paschal Oluchukwu, expressed shock and prayed that pandemic be successfully managed and further spread curbed in Ebonyi state, Nigeria and in the world generally.
While wishing governor Umahi a speedy recovery, Amb. Oluchukwu, commended the governor for handing over the affairs of governance of Ebonyi state to his deputy, Barr. Eric Kelechi Igwe, to lead the frontline coordination of the battle to contain and manage further spread of the dreaded COVID-19 virus in the state.
The statement said: “Even as we were astonished when he(Governor Umahi) personally broke the news on the social media that the results from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) indicated that he and some of his close aides also tested positive to COVI-19, we are gladdened by the disposition of his faith that all affected persons will soon test negative to the virus. Like the world already is aware; testing positive to the deadly pandemic is actually not a death sentence.
“While assuring that we have His Excellency, the Governor and all the affected aides in our esteemed prayers and wishing him and others a very speedy recovery to enable him continue to pilot the affairs of governance of our dear state, we also commend him for handing over the affairs of governance of the State to his Deputy, Barr. Eric Kelechi Igwe to lead the frontline coordination of the battle to contain and manage further spread of the dreaded COVID-19 virus which is already at community transmission level in our dear state.”
The association urged every Ebonyian to take the NCDC warnings and protocols very seriously, abide strictly by them and support all efforts by government at all levels in Nigeria in the sustained fight against the dreaded COVID-19 virus.
“It is our earnest desire therefore that the pandemic be successfully managed and further spread curbed in our dear state by all concerned just as we urge every Ebonyian to take the NCDC warnings and protocols very seriously, abide strictly by them and support all efforts by government at all levels in Nigeria in the sustained fight against the dreaded COVID-19 virus. It is real and it has come to stay!
“May God Almighty continue to uplift our dear state as the salt of the Nation.”
Court Transfers Evans’ Trial To Office Of Public Defender
There’s a new twist to the ongoing trial of kidnap Kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans as an Ikeja High Court in Lagos has asked the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) to take over the defence for his alleged inability to afford legal fees.
The Lagos State Attorney-General (A-G), Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) told the court on Friday that his team placed a phone call to Evans’ legal team on the last court date to enquire about the whereabouts of Evans’ counsel.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi, thereafter, noted that Evans had developed a habit of engaging the services of lawyers who according to the judge, “disappeared halfway through trial” and this has caused delays in the case.
He is standing trial alongside four others over the alleged kidnap of Mr Donatius Dunu, the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical ltd.
Wife Of Benue State Governor Tests Positive For Coronavirus
The wife of Benue State Governor, Eunice Ortom has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a statement she personally signed on Friday night, the First Lady said tests conducted on her came out positive.
The First Lady also noted that her son and some staff too were infected by the virus, adding that she has gone into total isolation and has commenced treatment.
“A few moments ago this evening, I received my result from the tests earlier carried out on me by NCDC personnel on routine screening at Government House, Makurdi which returned that I, my son, and some staff are COVID-19 positive.
“We have from this moment, gone into total isolation as required by the protocol and would immediately begin the management treatment as advised by medical experts,” she said.
Ortom, however, advised everyone who has had contact with her in the past two weeks to undergo screening and get tested.
The governor’s wife is optimistic of recovering from the virus, stressing that being CIVID-19 positive is not a death sentence.
Although she admitted that the virus is real, she asked residents of the state not to panic but should be responsible for their actions.
In doing this, Ortom wants the people “to take preventive measures to be protected and be safe by observing the primary protocols.”
One of such include wearing of face masks, constant washing of hands, maintaining Social Distance and staying indoors.
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