Imo Communities on war path over land dispute

From Everest Ezihe, Owerri

The age long  peaceful co-existence between neighbouring communities of Obabor Nkwokwu village in Eziama Obiator autonomous community in Mbaitoli Local Government Area and Umueme Awo Omemma in Oru East Council area all in Imo State have grown sour following a land dispute as both communities are now spoiling for war.

Since December last year till date both communities have murdered sleep based on series of persistent inter communal attacks and counter attacks. Moreso, fear, suspense, rumours and blackmail have become their daily bread of sorrows as many have abandoned their ancestral homes.Ironically, the battle is not only physical but spiritually traditional.

Trouble just started as the rich but massive disputed land which situates on the Southern Area of Njaba River and in Obabor Nkwokwu village along Owerri Onitsha Express road, Eziama Obiator having been a product of decades of litigations.

Last December, Eziama Obiator people accused Awo omamma people of forcefully entered the land by clearing the bushes and cutting down economic trees despite the matter still being in court.

This prompted Eziama Obiato people to quickly issue Caveat Emptor that read thus: The attention of Obabor Nkwokwu Village of Eziama Obiato in Mbaitoli LOcal Government Area of ImoState has been drawn to a publication through sign post captioned “NOW SELLING: ALA OFE GARDEN CITY, AWO-OMEMMA”, mounted at a piece of and situate at the southern Area of Njaba River (Obabor Nkwokwu Village Land) along Owerri-Onitsha Express Road, Obabor Nkwokwu Village, Mbaitoli LGA, Imo State calling for buyers to the sale of the pieces or parcels of land therein.

This publication was made by unidentified land grabbers.The general public is hereby put on notice that the entire parcel of land situate at the Southern Area of Njaba River in Obabor Nkwokwu Village in Mbaitoli LGA. Imo State belong-to Obabor Nkwokwu Village in Eziama obiato Autonomous Community of Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State. Note that the said land is not for sale.

FURTHER TAKE NOTICE that the said parcel of land is the subject of litigation at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Abuja inn Supreme Court Apeal No.SC/186/2007 between Nkwokwu Village, Eziama Obiato in Mbaitoli LGA, and Umueme Awo Omemma in Oru East LGA which Supreme Court of Appeal has not been determined till date. ANY INFORMATION TO THE CONTRARY IS FALSE.

The Obabor Nkwokwu Village in Eziama Obiato Autonomous Community of Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State are by this Notice informing the General public that any person or persons who encroaches or encroach on the said land, or any person or group of persons who deals with any agent(s) in whatever capacity with respect to the said land, or who purchase the said land, or any part thereof does so at his or her or their own risk.

The general public and buyers of land are hereby advised to beware. Signed for and on behalf of Obabor Nkwokwu Village, Eziama obiatoAutonomous Community, Mbaitoli LGA.
HRH Eze Dennis Nwaba of Eziama Obiato lamented that despite the caveat emptor and the matter being in Supreme Court of Appeal that the youths and some dubious people from Umueme Awo-Omemma advanced plans to sale the part of the land which his people vehemently resisted.

However, Hon. Okey Onyekanma, the law maker representing Mbaitolu State Constituency said he has raised the necessary petitions to the police and the state government while Hon. Henry Nwawuba, representing Mbaitolu/Ikeduru Federal Constituency said he’s yet to be briefed over the lingering crisis.

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