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Minister wades into dispute between FUTO, host communities

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PHOTO: www.nigeriaschool.com.ng

The Minister for State, Power, Housing and Works, Suleiman Hassan, has waded into the age-long land dispute between authorities of the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri and its host communities in Ihiagwa, Owerri West Local Council of Imo State.

The Attorney on Land Matters to the host communities, Chief Sam Anoka, told The Guardian on Friday that they have received notice of the minister’s visit to handle the matter. 

Briefing journalists, the Vice Chancellor of FUTO, Prof. Francis Chukwuemeka Eze, accused the host communities of encroachment; just as the host communities are also accusing FUTO of penetrating into their settlement and habitation areas. 

However, The Guardian gathered that the actual land ownership dispute between the two parties, comprising 30 villages of eight autonomous communities (Avu, Obioze, Nekede, Ihiagwa, Eziobodo, Okolochi, Emebiam and Obibiezena), have continued to bred hatred among them, as no party is shifting ground.

Whereas, FUTO management is insisting that the institution observed all due processes in acquiring the 4,580 hectares of land in 1982, the host communities, represented by a stakeholder/attorney (surveyor/estate valuer), Chief Anoka and other representatives, are asserting that the institution was encroaching into their areas.

They said from their records, the institution only paid compensation for only 1,430 hectares, leaving a balance of 3,120 hectares allegedly unpaid for.


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FUTOSuleiman Hassan
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