An Anambra High Court sitting in Otuocha in Anambra East local government area has ordered an interlocutory injunction restraining parties in the 102 years old land dispute in Nkwele Ezunaka in Oyi local government area of the state from entering into or erecting any structure on the said land pending the determination of the case.
The presiding judge, Justice M.N.Okonkwo also ordered the defendants to enter into a bond to pay damages to the respondents in the event of a wrongful exercise of the court’s directive.
The plaintiffs in the suit are Ikechukwu Nnalue and 11 others for themselves and on behalf of all members of Ezinkwele village, Nkwele Ezunaka, while the defendants are Vincent Okafor and eight others from Umuoba, Amuche village in Nkwele Ezunaka, all in Oyi local government area of Anambra State.
Umuoba kindred had, in 1922 and 1928, obtained favourable judgment concerning the land against their neighbouring Umunya and Nteje communities and since then, had continued to make use of the land, which currently hosts many housing estates.
However, in 2013, one Francis Beluchukwu from Ezinkwele village led some people to trespass on the land, leading the death of one person and destruction of property worth millions of naira, prompting the people of Amuche village to petition the Inspector General of Police who directed the Anambra State police command to investigate the matter.
During the visit of policemen to the disputed land, thugs allegedly hired by Ezinkwele people chased them away.
At the resumed hearing of the case this month, Justice Okonkwo granted the interlocutory injunction restraining the parties and their agents or privies from entering, building or erecting structures in the land in dispute.
He also ordered the plaintiffs not to interfere with the defendants’ possessory rights over the land in dispute, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
He adjourned the case to 27th May 2021 for accelerated hearing.