Abba Community in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State has raised alarm over what they called unwarranted and unlawful attempts to expropriate their inheritance by neighbouring Ukpo Community on the promptings of a bigwig from the town.
The inheritance in question, a stretch of land along Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, verged on the North by Ukpo in Dunukofia Council Area and on the West by Awkuzu in Oyi Council Area, has been a subject of dispute for the past over 40 years now and is presently under litigation at the State High Court, Neni.
Investigations reveal that Ukpo Community had replaced all signposts on the land bearing Abba with theirs, as their leaders claim they are taking ownership of the land following an initial judgement of a State high court delivered by Justice Obiora Nwazota.
A market is initially known as Oye Abba and parts of a government-owned community secondary, Abba, which situates on the land in dispute, has also been demolished.
It was gathered that the Justice Nwazota judgement had been jettisoned by the Appellate Court and both parties ordered to go back to the trial court and start the matter afresh when details of the said judgement were found missing.
Speaking with our correspondent on the development, the President General of Abba, Chief Bennett Anaekwe revealed that of recent, beacons have been laid on some portions of land within the Community Secondary.
“Not long ago, some persons who identified themselves as policemen from the Divisional Police Station, Ukpo approached the Principal of the school to measure the school but when the Principal requested a written authorization from their sender, they promised to return with it but never did. Surprisingly, beacons were later found laid at different points within the school compound. At present, the site of Abba Community Market (Oye Abba), is being fenced off with block wall by Ukpo Community,” he alleged.
The Abba PG said granted that the ownership of the land is under litigation between Abba and Ukpo/Ukwulu, no party should pre-empt the decisions of the Court especially when all the parties have been duly served with court processes and appearances entered.
“The leadership of Abba wishes to state emphatically that the said land is the ancestral home and inheritance of the Abba people from time immemorial and citizens of Abba have been exclusively cultivating the land until the recent territorial expansion by known elements of Ukpo Community sponsored by one of its wealthy members.
“We are once again drawing the attention of the government of Anambra State, the State Commissioner of Police and the State Director of State Security (DSS) to these attempts to expropriate our inheritance by some members of Ukpo Community. We further request these institutions of government to intervene and call the persons concerned to order to avoid escalation of tension between the communities. Abba community has remained peaceful and law-abiding even in the face of series of sponsored attacks and provocation by Ukpo Community since June 19th 2019,” Anaekwe noted.
When contacted, the Anambra State Police Command through its spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed said it can no longer meddle in the matter as the case is before a court of competent jurisdiction.