PEIWA warns against the acquisition of lands at Enugu State Centenary
Private Estates International West Africa, PEIWA has issued a strong warning to anyone looking to buy portions of land at the Enugu State Centenary from persons other than those duly recognized.
The warning follows ongoing activities on the land in question that go contrary to the Legal Mortgage created in 2009.
A statement signed by, Dr. J.Y. Musa, SAN, Solicitor to Private Estates International West Africa said that for no just cause and without serving the mandatory notice of intention to revoke as required by law, some persons in government purported to have revoked the Certificate of Occupancy granted to PEIWA over the said land. He said that the matter is still in court hence any buyer or investor is advised to stay clear to avoid losing the money and or being joined in a legal tussle
According to him, “PEIWA’s Certificate of Occupancy over the said1,097.128 hectares situate at Obeagu/Amechi Awkunanaw, Enugu Local Government Area, Enugu State otherwise called Enugu STATE CENTENARY CITY remains valid and subsisting, and has neither been terminated nor validly revoked howsoever.”
He said only his clients have the legal and equitable rights to alienate, dispose or assign any interest in respect of the said land.
He further warned those looking at acquiring portions of the said land saying, “the said land or any part thereof is Not for sale, purchase, lease, rent, alienation or disposition in any manner whatsoever, pending the determination of various substantive suits currently before the Courts.
“The public is hereby advised to desist from dealing with or buying the land or any part thereof in respect of the 1,097.128 hectares of land at the ENUGU STATE CENTENARY CITY.
“Anyone who buys or deals with the land at the ENUGU STATE CENTENARY CITY from any party other PEIWA and its partner will acquire a defective title and at his or her peril. Consequently, any document of title issued to any person(s) during the subsistence of these Orders of Court is invalid, null, and void.”
Continuing, he said, “This Public Notice became necessary given the history of the Centenary City and the recent upsurge in violent activities and destruction in the area perpetrated by certain persons. The Centenary City is a 1097-hectare development situated in Obeagu/Amechi Awkunanaw, Enugu Local Government Area of Enugu State which is covered by a Certificate of Occupancy issued to PEIWA by the Enugu State Government in 2009 for the construction of an ambitious and capital-intensive project described as the Centenary City. The project which is a multi-billion-naira project has been so far funded through capital from local investors, foreign investors, and loan facilities obtained from local banks.
“Despite the huge scale of investment, visible ongoing development and the involvement of Enugu State Government in the land acquisition process, certain criminal elements, allegedly with the tacit support of certain elements within the Police and the Enugu State Government, have continued to encroach and illicitly sell portions of the land to the public, as part of a syndicate.
“To enforce these illegal sales, the syndicate allegedly deploys crude violence against legitimate workers, residents, and even armed policemen within the Centenary City; despite various court orders restraining them from doing so and several reports made to the Police. For instance, in June 2021, security operatives of the estate and three policemen on routine patrol were allegedly assaulted and the thugs attempted to steal the firearms of these policemen. There have also been other incidents of violent attacks on other persons resulting in severe injuries and attempts to cart away multi-million equipment and property of the Centenary City.
“There is no greater demonstration of the breakdown of law and order than when thugs can molest, beat up and even attempt to forcibly collect arms from men of the police force without fear of consequences. Thus, individuals aware of what is happening at Centenary City Enugu are gravely concerned by the real danger these hoodlums could pose to society, and their fear is genuine. The protection allegedly being enjoyed by the land grabbers and the impunity the thugs have to treat police officers like common criminals with utter disrespect raises cause for concern, especially with the upsurge in banditry and violence amongst non-state actors in Nigeria. Land grabbing seems to have become an attractive crime in Enugu since it appears less heinous than armed robbery and kidnapping. Sadly, the gangs deploy the same level of violence they ordinarily use for armed robbery and kidnapping in their bid to scare the legitimate landowners as they seek to take possession. As a consequence of these acts, the area has become a hotbed for all kinds of criminal activities. For instance, few days after the attack on policemen, a couple was kidnapped at the same spot by the same gang wielding their pump-action guns. These couples are residents of Centenary city and were kidnapped on their way home.
“The criminals are getting emboldened daily and will continue to be more vicious if left unchecked. This calls for serious attention by the law enforcement agencies and the judiciary.
“This is not the first time this kind of molestation is happening against the police officers- not so long ago, the former SPU commander in Enugu was also allegedly badly beaten by the same gang of land grabbers, who were heard boasting that nothing will ever happen to them because they have the full protection from the highest level of the Police. Sadly, the same group of land grabbers (which mainly comprises known criminals and ex-convicts) continues to operate unchecked. It took the intervention of the DIG FCID Abuja – following a petition approved by the IGP for efforts to be made to bring the criminals to book. Even at that, the senior police officers in this racket are making frantic efforts to stall the investigation.” the statement explained.
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