Delta family petitions Anglican Communion, alleges land grabbing
Miffed by the alleged grabbing of vast acres of its family land, the Onwuegbuzie family of Umuagu Quarters, Asaba Delta State has petitioned the primate of All Nigeria Church, Anglican Communion Rev. Nicholas Okoh,
In a petition by the patriarch of the family by Dr. Chukwuka Akin Joseph Onwuegbuzia heir to late Christopher Azubuike Onwuegbuzia of Ojife Clan in Asaba and dated March 22, 2018, he called on Rev. Okoh to intervene expeditiously over the alleged usurpation of their family’s landed property by the church.
The octogenarian who is an Anglican wrote that the controversy started wayback in 1959, wailing that his late father’s generosity has however been seriously abused by the Diocese.
Going down memory lane, he said that in 1959, some representatives from the CMS church and the Asaba Urban Council called on the elder Onwuegbuzie to request for some 30 to 35 acres of land for the building of Anglican Girls Grammar School, Asaba (AGGS).
He stated that the family had vast acres of land and his father as the head of the larger Onwuegbuzia family at that time willingly consented to give the land as a way of being of service to the community through the CMS church for which he toiled and died as a catechist.
He said that in consenting, the elder Onwuegbuzia spelt out terms and conditions under which the land would be given out to the church.
He listed the conditions to include that the land would be given on lease; there would be an agreed payment; and that the church should survey the adjacent plots of land to secure them amongst others.
The petitioners stated that church and the Board of Governors neglected his late father and taking advantage of the missions undue influence on his family, it surreptitiously entered the family’s land and began to build on it.
He added that his father in his reaction wrote a letter to remind the board and the building committee of the church of what it failed to do before the land could legally take possession.
He regretted that the family is so touched that the Anglican Communion can grab the land of a fellow church member.
He complained that the church had deprived the family of its land while the church benefits from its family’s landed property.
Onwuegbuzia stated petition that before his father died he had handed over the documents relating to the issues with the operators of the school.
He insisted that it was not until the state government returned the schools it took from the missionaries after the civil war to their original operators in 2011/2012 that he was able to demand from the Registered Trustees of the Anglican Community Asaba Diocese about the land.
Onwuegbuzia further alleged that his father who died in pernury in 1985 lived in squalor as he was denied access to his property after all his entreaties to the church, to abide by terms and conditions he had given fell on deaf earsa.
On his sick bed, he disclosed that his father tasked him as the eldest son to continue where he stopped in his quest to secure the benefits, which should have accrued to the family from the land.
He demanded that the family must be compensated in monentary terms for the neglect, pains, deprivations caused it over the years.
While maintaining the church’s innocence, the Bishop of the Diocese, Rev. Justus Mogekwu conceded that the controversial property dated back to over 60 years now.
He disclosed that the church has nothing to hide and ready to meet Onwuegbuzia, who is demanding a princely N500 million as compensation on behalf of his family, in court.