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Landlords, community feud over Olympic Layout in Enugu

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The crisis over acquisition of the massive Olympic Layout, Awkunanaw, in Enugu South Council between its landlords and original owners, Etiti Ngwo community in Enugu North Council, might not abate soon as each party appears poised for a showdown.

Last week, the landlords of the Layout petitioned Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi alleging unlawful demolition of their properties and forced takeover of lands belonging to them by representatives of Etiti village in Ngwo community.

In the petition by their counsel, Olu Omotayo, they alleged that the natives had perpetrated the unjust act against them with the help of a Superintendent of Police (SP) and urged the governor to intervene to avoid a bloodbath.

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Omotayo recalled: “Sometimes, late last year, some people from Etiti village, Ngwo, invaded the entire Layout, purporting to be executing the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which gave them judgment in respect of the land shown in survey plan number MB/D.18/90. These people violently seized and resold several plots of land in the Layout. Most of these plots were in areas not covered in survey plan number MB/D.18/90.”

The Etiti Ngwo community, however, disagreed with the petition by the landlords describing it as “a catalogue of lies” aimed at misleading the government and the public. They claimed that the Layout belongs to the community and that nothing would deter them from enforcing court judgments in their favour over the area.

Counsel to the community, Chief M.C. Onoh, wondered how the petitioners could continue to quote the judgment of a state High Court when the appellate and Supreme Courts have put the case to a permanent rest in favour of Etiti Ngwo.

Absolving the police of any wrongdoing, as alleged by the petitioners, Onoh said that they had been professional in the discharge of their duty on the matter and their involvement was because of the petition of the people of Etiti Ngwo to the Inspector General of Police after they were shot at by the people of Umuakum Atakwu Akwuke when they came to “reap the fruit of their Appeal Court judgment”.

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