Court bars Enugu Assembly member from land grab

An Enugu State High Court on Wednesday extended an injunction restraining, a member of the state House of Assembly, Emeka Madu, from trespassing or selling of a portion of land in dispute in the state capital.

Justice E. N. Alukwu of Court 11, had earlier in a motion exparte restrained the lawmaker, his agents, privies and workmen from obstructing, destroying or erecting any structure on any portion of the disputed land situate in Old Artisan Market, Asata and adjourned until June 24.

On the resumed hearing, counsel to the respondent, Mr J. C. Oloto told the court that his client was served with interlocutory injunction by the plaintiffs.

He however, said that he had a motion for joinder which should take precedence and consequently, applied for the joinder of Juken Investment Ltd as a co-defendant.
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr Victor Okoye did not oppose the joinder application but applied for the renewal of the interim injunction pursuant to Order 39, Rule 3(4).

Okoye said that the renewal of the interim injunction would enable the plaintiffs to serve the notice of interlocutory injunction on the newly joined defendant, Juken Investment Ltd.

The judge then granted the application for joinder and extended the interim injunction restraining the lawmaker pending the hearing application for interlocutory injunction.

The case was adjourned until July 15 for hearing of the motion on notice.

The plaintiffs Chukwuani Afamefuna, Chukwuani Kenechukwu and Chidera Okoye had dragged Madu to court over a disputed land situated at Artisan Market, Asata, Enugu.

The plaintiffs in their statement of claims averred that since 1970, they had been in continuous possession of the piece of land measuring 8,860.67 square meters through their predecessor in-title, Alhaji Zubairu Isa.

They said that the land originally owned by Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), was allocated to Isa in 1970 under Temporary Occupation License by NRC.

The plaintiffs said that upon the death of Isa, his son Muazu Zubairu transferred all his interest in the land to the plaintiff’s late fathers as joint owners by virtue of an agreement dated July 13, 2000.

They averred that their late fathers jointly applied for change of ownership which was approved through a letter dated Aug. 8, 2000.

They claimed that sometime in 2019, some concerned neighbours informed them that the defendant had broken into the property, removed all tenants and pulled down all lockup stores in the premises with earth moving equipment.

They averred that upon confronting him for trespass, the defendant threatened to use his federal might to arrest them.

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