Hundreds of occupants of the Think home Estate GRA, Awka, Anambra State have been rendered homeless following the demolition of the property in the estate, ANAMBRA PEOPLE reports.
The demolished buildings comprises of about 20 upstairs and others
The demolition followed the conclusion of a 21-year legal battle between Chief Jude Osude, his Bekilo Farms Ltd and former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Prof. Ilochi Okafor, his Wife Egosonwa Okafor, a former member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, late Val Elosiuba, the present Deputy speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Pascal Agbodike and Anambra State government.
Sometime in 2004, some people, including the husband of Lady Okafor, Prof. Ilochi Okafor, SAN, trespassed into the land and started disturbing the peaceful occupation of the said land by his company and Bekilo Poultry Farms in a Suit NO: A/108/2004 dragged Lady Okafor’s husband to court and Okafor later dissociated himself from the subject matter in the case.
At the high court, the judgment was entered in favour of Lady Okafor.
Jude Osude and his Bekilo Poultry Farms not satisfied approached the Court of Appeal and the judgement was in their favour.
The Appellate court in a judgement delivered on 17/12/2014 in favour of Chief Osude and Bekilo Farms Ltd against the family of former Vice Chancellor Prof. Ilochi Okafor and others ordered Chief Osude and Bekilo Farms to recover their property from the land grabbers.
This judgement noted that these land grabbers connived with some unscrupulous individuals in the Anambra state ministry of lands using their position to dispose of rightful land owners of their properties without valid allocation papers or certificates of occupancy
The Appeal judgment was delivered by Justice Fredrick Oziakpono, which the Anambra state government was also joined as parties lost out while Chief Osude and his company, Bekilo Poultry and Agriculture Farms (WA) Ltd succeeded.
Justice Fredrick Oziakpono in his judgement on the consolidated Appeal in Appeal NO: CA/AW/192/2018; Hon. Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Anambra state and Lady Egosonwa Okafor; vs Chief Jude Osude and Bekilo Poultry and Agricultural Farms (WA) Ltd Anambra said the government could not prove that it revoked Certificate of Occupancy issued to Chief Osude and Bekilo Farms.
The judge said that the Anambra state government, which allocated or granted the land in dispute to Bekilo Poultry and Agriculture Farms, subsequently, issued a Certificate of Occupancy to it cannot revoke the said Certificate of Occupancy issued or granted to his company by mere intention.
According to the Appellate Court, it is the settled position of the law that a Notice, simpliciter merely constitutes an intention on the part of the government to acquire or revoke the interests in the land and does not vest until the Notices of acquisition is served on the owners under Section 28 and 44 of the said Land Use Act, Cap L 5 of the laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Following the appeal court judgment, Chief Osude and his company, Bekilo Poultry and Agriculture Farms, demolished all the buildings and structures erected in the estate.
The estate which houses many families is now reduced to plain farmland.