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‘Illegal land takeover’: Journalist sues Enugu govt, others

A senior journalist, Dr Amaechi Anakwue has sued the Enugu State Government and others over the illegal trespass and takeover of his land in the…

A senior journalist, Dr Amaechi Anakwue has sued the Enugu State Government and others over the illegal trespass and takeover of his land in the state.

Anakwue, who is a media personality with AIT and Daar Communications Ltd, is demanding the sum of N200 million in damages for the trespass.

Anakwue wants an Enugu State High Courtt to declare that he is the bonafide owner of the parcel of land known as Plot 137 Independence Layout Phase II, Enugu.

The suit, which was brought by his counsel, Ikeazor Ajovi Akariwe (SAN), is also seeking a perpetual injunction restraining Offiah Lordrick M., Enugu State Government, the Attorney General of Enugu State, and Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development from re-allocating the land to another person.

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In his statement of claim, Anakwue stated that the land was first acquired by Bernard Onuigwe Orji in 2006 and granted Certificate of Occupancy registered as Number 89 at Page 89 in Volume 1574, and he later sold it to Pascal Ene and issued him a Deed of Assignment and Irrevocable Power of Attorney.

Anakwue averred that he purchased the said land from Ene in 2014 via an Irrevocable Power of Attorney duly registered with the Lands and Deeds Registry, Enugu as No 74 at Page 74 Volume 1674.

He explained that in furtherance of his ownership of the land, he paid for the necessary ground rents, and the community development fee of Ugwuaji and began to design the building plan.

He stated that he was advised to make the building plan in the name of the original buyer as that was still reflecting in the plan, and while trying to make the amendment, his brother, Nkemdilim Anakwue, visited the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) to find out the progress of the registration and discovered that the file was missing.

He stated that in 2021 one of the natives in the community informed the brother that Lordrick had started some work on the land, including a fence and gate house, and asked whether he was the one behind it.

He said all his efforts to locate the file through letters to the state government were rebuffed as the said Lordrick has allegedly “continued unrestrained acts of trespass by constructing various structures on the land and altering the structure of the land.”

He added that except the court restrains him he will continue the act of trespass on the land.

Anakwue bemoaned the land grab in the state despite the calls for more investments in the South East and the ‘Think Home’ mantra which attracted people like him.

Responding, the Enugu State Commissioner for Lands, Chidi Aroh said there have been no single C of O revocation under his watch, maintaining that Amaechi should identify the year and the circumstances in which the land was revoked.

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