By Ikenna Orioha
The people of Umuejechi, Nekede community, Owerri West local government area, have told Imo State government to obey the judgement of the High Court of Imo State regarding their land, which painstakingly, meritoriously gave them ownership of the land known as Agricultural Development Company (ADC), situated opposite Ministry of Tourism (Nekede Zoo), The people during a peaceful protest on the said land on Thursday, noted that the land was leased to the Eastern Nigeria Government in 1956 solely for agricultural purposes for which government paid them for three years and stopped, warranting them to challenge government in the court in 2002 upon which judgement was given in their favor.
Speaking to journalists, Chairman, Umuejechi Central Assembly, Sir Samuel Ahamefula Achigbuo stated that the former governor of the state, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, implemented the court judgement by giving them back the land with an agreement to leave the Zoo land, take 50 percent of the forestry land as he withdrew an appeal made by the previous government against the High Court order.
They frowned that they were surprised that Governor Hope Uzodimma refused to obey the judgement of the High Court having become governor, threatening that if the government insist on disobeying the court judgement they would enforce the State High Court order.
However, traditional ruler of Nekede community, HRH, Eze Steven Agumanu, who spoke through High Chief Nkemakolam Kemas, added that “the land is on lease. So, we have the authority to ask government to give us back our land. It is time bound for government to appeal against the High Court judgement. Government has acquired over 90 percent of Nekede land. We want to expand because our population is increasing. Ihedioha came and ameliorated our land plight caused by Okorocha. Uzodimma should obey the court order and allow us have our ancestral land back”.
Efforts made to reach the Commissioners for Lands, Survey and Urban Development and Information proved abortive as they could not pick calls put to them nor reply to text messages.
See text sent by our reporter ‘Good evening sir. Umuejechi Nekede community protested that government disobeyed the Imo State High Court judgment which favoured them, saying government refused to allow them take back their ancestral land which they leased to government in 1956. What is the position of government on this as Commissioner of Lands’.