The presence of two massive coffins and charms could not prevent a determined Anambra State Taskforce from demolishing illegal structures built on a government land near Governor’s lodge, Onitsha over the weekend.
The exercise will mark the fifth time the state government is demolishing structures at the land which an Onitsha lawyer, Barr Harold Ekwerekwu is laying claims to.
The lawyer is claiming that the land belongs to the Okposieke family of Ogbolieke village in Onitsha, Onitsha North Council Area of Anambra State, having reverted back to the family after a 100-year lease agreement with the Federal Government.
According to him, the land in question is subject to a lease hold of 1910 and 1945 between the Federal Government and the Okposieke family, which yielded back to the family, reversionary interest in 2009 and the Federal Government released back the said land to his family.
He revealed that the federal government released the first one on the 13th of July, 2013 and later released the other in 2019.
Since the last demolition earlier in 2022, the lawyer had gone ahead to build again on the land and allegedly placed two coffins and charms at various parts to scare the government team away from the land.
However, the team comprising security personnel and officials of the relevant state government agencies defied the charms and pulled down all the structures erected and destroyed the coffins.
Speaking after the exercise, the Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Barr Chike Maduekwe who led the taskforce, maintained that no amount of cajoling will make the state government not reclaim the land which he said was designated for judges quarters.
He disclosed that the state government has made it clear that the parcel of land was designated for judges’ quarters and had started developing the site, wondering why the Onitsha lawyer, who he described as an interloper, would continue to trespass on the said land.
“We have the directive to arrest him and prosecute him if he ever trespasses on this land again.
“Anambra State Government can no longer tolerate this kind of impunity and will ensure that any interloper is prosecuted.
“The government of Prof Chukwuma Soludo believes in the rule of law and will not allow people to have their way, with this kind of unlawful activities,” he warned.