Families in court over N70 million property in Umuogowerem, Owerri
The Court presided by Uchenna Oforha and supported by E. C. Nwachukwu and C.U. Ogorji had at the hearing of the matter on October 17, 2016, ordered both parties to stay away from the land pending the determination of the suit.
Further hearing in the suit filed by Chinedu Avugara and Chisom Festus Avugara against Messrs.’ Anthony Eziefula Williams and Obinna Eziefula Williams over a land measuring about 11017.747 square meters and valued at over N70 million has been fixed for January 11,
In the suit marked NO: CC/OWN/60/2016 and filed at Owerri North Customary Court, Holden at Uratha, Imo state, the plaintiffs are asking for a declaration that they are entitled to the right to the parcel of land known as Onuoba land situated at Umuogowerem, Orji Uratha in Owerri North Local council of Imo state.
They also sought a declaration that the forceful entry of the defendants into their Onuoba land amounts to trespass.
They subsequently sought an order compelling the defendants to pay them N5 million as damages for trespass on the said land as well as an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further trespass or entry into the said Onuoba land and dealing with it in any manner inconsistent with their rights of possession
Also in seeking the injunction, the plaintiffs submitted in their affidavit that the defendants are presently taking overt steps to sell and /or alienate the said land to some individuals and have boasted to frustrate them out of the land in dispute by frustrating the court action through the alienation of the subject-matter of the suit.
They alleged that the defendants have sold their family land situated at Onu-Oba, Umuogowerem, Orji, Uratta in Owerri North Local Government
area of Imo State to Messrs. Felix Ogu, Ijeoma Ejeh and an Abuja based lawyer.
But the defendants in their 32- paragraph counter affidavit said they are the owners in occupation of their father’s portion of Onuoba land in accordance with native law and Custom.
They stressed that Onuoba land was the property of Ebomuche, their forebear and that Ebomuche begot Anosike, Egbe, Eze , Phillips and Eziefula, adding that in line of the native law and custom of Orji, Onuoba land devolved in the children of Ebomuche, upon his death.
The defendants submitted that Onuoba is a large expanse of land of over 18 plots and do not know the portions the plaintiffs are claiming.
At the resumption of the matter on December 5, 2016, the first plaintiff, Chinedu Avugara led in evidence by his counsel, Mrs. Uloma Dozie-Ndukwe told the court that his progenitor, Diafor deforested the land and that they derived their inheritance of the said land from him.
In the proceedings, which lasted for 45 minutes, he reeled out the names of his ancestors from Diafor to his father Frank Ugwuezumba before the matter was adjourned till January 11, 2017.
Dispute on the land between the Eboamuche and Avugara families started in 2013 at the Community Council when the Eboamuche family
allegedly encroached on the land of the Avugara family, claiming ownership because according to the Eboamuche family, the progenitor of the Avugara family, Avugara himself, was an indigene of Ndoki in the present day Rivers State, and not an indigene of the community.
But the Community Council in a verdict ruled that the land belongs to the Avugara family as they are indigenes of the Community and not from Ndoki as alleged and that there is a clear ancient boundaries demarcating their land from that of the Eboamuche family.
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