Opinion

Umeje Community Reaffirms NAU Occupancy of Land

…Begs Son to Accept Unizik

By Chioma Ndife

Umueje Community in Ayamelum Local Government Area, Anambra State, has reaffirmed that Nnamdi¬† Azikiwe University has the authority to occupy and use the portion of the community’s land which it donated to the University Community.

The traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Elias Nneli, disclosed this to Fides shortly after a court session at the Federal High Court, Awka, Thursday, wherein a case brought to it by one of the community’s illustrious son, Mr. Benson Amaluche, was struck out.

Igwe Nneli explained that the land was given to the institution to put up its annex agricultural faculty in the area and also to create job opportunities for the teeming youths in the area.

Fides gathered that Chief Amaluche brought a case before the court to stop the community from giving the land to the school Management, alleging that the school should be paying royalty to the community which the traditional ruler and his cabinet kicked against.

They claimed that land ownership in the community was based on communal basis and that the constitution, right from inception, did not give land to visitors on royalty.

Igwe Nneli urged the plaintiff to have a rethink and join hands with the leadership of the community in bringing the desired development into the community

In reaction to the judgement, the counsel to the community, Barrister Lawrence Obiora, said the plaintiff, Mr. Benson Amaluche, was looking for a declaration that they were the owners of the land that was given to the University.

The counsel said the contention of the community had been that the case was a land matter bordering on a declaration of title to land and that the court found out it had no jurisdiction to handle the matter and that the parties involved should meet the appropriate court.

The president general of the community, Chief Felix Chidube, while saying the land was given to the institution in 2020, contended that the judgement favoured the community and would bring the desired partnership the community had wanted with UNIZIK.

He said, “The land was given in consonance with the laws of Umueje Community. Some communities have been looking for this opportunity and we saw it as a privilege to give out our community land to the institution. The court struck out the suit and we are very happy, he said.

However, the prosecuting counsel refused to comment on the matter when he was approached immediately after the court session.

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