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Kogi won’t circumvent Supreme Court on community dispute with Enugu, says govt

By Ameh Ochojila, Abuja
20 September 2022   |   3:40 am
Kogi State government has said it will not circumvent Supreme Court decision on disputed Ette community.

Kogi State government has said it will not circumvent Supreme Court decision on disputed Ette community.

Igbo-Eze North Council of Enugu State and Olamaboro Council of Kogi State both lay claims to the community.

Deputy governor of Kogi, Edward Onoja, spoke at a joint meeting of officials of the Enugu-Kogi interstate boundary in Abuja.

He said the court’s verdict was aimed at amicable settlement. According to him, “if it (the court) had wanted a delineation, it would have simply said so. But it rather directed for an amicable settlement. And we cannot stand here to circumvent that decision.

“I believe that the amiability of the settlement is a simple straightforward matter, which can still be done within the confines of the meeting, and in accordance with the 1999 Constitution, not recourse to dead inapplicable colonial boundary Orders-in-council and legal notices.”

According to Onoja, analysis of the delineation points directly to the fact that Ette community is three entire miles from the Enugu border.

He explained further that during adjudication at the apex court, the “Supreme Court only required the Enugu state government to tender one single instrument that shows Ette is within its border, and it never did.”

He added that the Yahaya Bello-led government is desirous of an amicable settlement that is in consonance with judicial findings, alongside yearning of his people, who are from Ette community.

Deputy governor of Enugu, Mrs. Cecila Ezeilo, described the states are two sisters living together in harmony.

Reiterating the importance of such peaceful living, she said: “Governments that are spared disturbances, distractions and destruction of life and property that attend border clashes have a lot to thank God for.”

On his part, the director general of the boundary commission, Adamu Adaji, appreciated the two states for their peaceful disposition.

He noted that the dispute had attracted attention of the Federal Government in the past, saying this was what led to Justice Mamman Nasir Boundary Adjustment Commission of 1976 and subsequent decision of the Federal Government.

He said findings show that the most contentious sector of the boundary is “around the Ette community,” which both Igbo-Eze North and Olamaboro councils claim.

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