Monday, 26 May 2014

Onitsha Motorpark Controversy: IG, ANAMBRA, CP, OTHERS, TO FACE COMMITTAL CHARGE.


 Okechukwu Onuegbu

motor park
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, the Commander 302 Atilary regement Onitsha and the Commissioner of Police Anambra State will on Tuesday next week be standing trail at the Federal High Court Awka over allegation of contempt of court  for disobeying the order of the court made on the 14th day of July, 2010 which restrained and enjoyined the defendants to forestall further invasion of Michmerah Modern Park at the Triangle, Upper Iweka near the flyover Onitsha and to protect the lives and properties of the applicants  in the said motor park.

The court order from 49 issued in Awka recentely endorsed before the commissioner for oath titted “Notice to show cause, why the contemnors shall not be committed to prison for disobedience of court order. The court affidavit in support of the from 49 and endorsed by Chief Michael Emerak businessman stated that the reasons why the defendant should face committal and it reades in parts, “I am the chairman and the managing director of the 2nd applicant company (Michael Emerah International Agency Ltd) and make the oath with the consent and concurrence of the 2nd applicant company”.

“following the application for a lease over the land in dispute situated at Upper Iweka flyover Onitsha, the Hon Minister of Works and Housing granted the plaintiffs application dated 9th day of April 2001 and offered the company lease of the land for 99yrs in  writing dated 15th May 2001”. The applicant accepted  the offer also in writing dated 18th day of May 2001 and the process for the grant of certificate of occupancy commenced and concluded.

The CFO dated 21st September 2007 was registered as No 61 at page 61 volume 111 of the Federal land Registry Ikoyi Lagos. He stated further  that prior to the application for the lease and grant of certificate of occupancy, the first applicant did on behalf of the 2nd applicant applied to the Governor of Anambra State for and obtained from the defendant right to temporary occupancy of the said land pending the conclusion of the process and grant of the (C .F.O)  by the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and was granted the offer in a letter dates 14th June 2004 signed by the secretary the state government ..

According to chief emerah the Government of Anambra Stated letter to the 1st applicant Ref. ANGH.5/17/vol. 111 dated 4th Dec, 2000 the government admitted that the land in dispute is the land which the federal government has right over. The letter according to the affidavit reads “ I am directed to refer to you application for the grant of right of occupancy an open space by Iweka  flyover and Bridge Head express way, Onitsha, and to convey the approval of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, for your company to temporarily occupy the open space marked {C } on the attacked sketch as a vehicle pending the grant of  a certificate of occupancy by the federal ministry of Works and Housing”.

I am further directed to say, that the grant for a temporary use of the space aforementioned, not withstanding, your company is expected to initiate the necessary application for the formal grant of a certificate of occupancy by the federal ministry of works and Housing Abuja.

The Government of Anambra Stat however, should be disposed to offer all necessary support and assistance that will enhance the success of your application. Following this the applicant went ahead to pay the grand rent up to 2016 to the federal government. The later dated 24/02/2014, with the acknowledgment of payment by bank draft in the respect of the payment was also attached as exbit. The Anambra State Urban Development Board ASUDEB in what looked like a twist attempted to make demands from the plaintiffs over the land in dispute which necessitated the plaintiff in 2010 to bring the same to the notice of the federal ministry of works and housing, who wrote a letter on the 8th April 2010 to the zonal manager Anambra State urban development boards ASUDEB, Onitsha zone informing them that the plaintiff was granted 99 yrs lease of that Triangle piece and parcel of federal government lands. The said later reads in parts “may I remind you that there is need for you to liaise with us on all issues concerning federal government land in the state as this will not only promote harmony between the two tiers of government but will at the same time eliminate unnecessary confrontation between them”. 

But in March 2014, the immediate past  governor of Anambra State mr peter obi acting in a bad faith and knowing fully well that the applicant has a certificate of occupancy on the said land in dispute barricaded the entrances of the fenced land with the aid of the police, Army and other security agencies.

The  federal high court Awka presided over by I. Gafai and had on the July 2012 made another order restraining the Inspector General of Police, the Anambra State Police Commissioner and the respondent in suit No FHC/AWK/CS/190/2012 that the respondent should maintain the statusquo on the property but despite the order, the inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police Anambra State sent police Officers to invade the property thereby completely disobeying the order of the court.

The applicant said he has been denied all the money accruing from the business they carry in the said property because of flagrant abuse of power by the contemnors.  Form 48 has been  served on them equally adding that his  fundamental right has been infringed as such disobedience of the court order and further infringement of right should not be encourage.    

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