Human Interest

54 years after Biafra war, proprietors sue Anambra govt for school take over


By Our correspondent

Anambra State High Court sitting in Awka, the state capital, has adjourned a suit seeking the return of schools taken over by the East Central Government in 1970 .

The Proprietors of the said schools had presented 5th evidence in the ongoing case it instituted against the State Government.

After Counsel to the Plaintiffs announced presence of a witness, Mr. Anthony Chude, the court admitted as/in evidence two depositions earlier made by the witness; in which he claimed ownership of Metropolitan College, Onitsha.

When asked during cross examination why they didn’t take action until after over 50 years, the witness said they had made unwritten requests, adding that they instituted the legal action after their unwritten request for the return of their schools failed, and they noticed that apart from them, government had returned other schools to their original owners, including the Churches.

Speaking after the court proceedings, Counsel for the Plaintiffs, Anene Belonwu, said more witnesses would be presented in days to come, wondering why his clients would not be treated as others, especially now that government is licensing more schools.

Some of the then school Proprietors, including Mr. Chude and Reverend Obinna Awgu, who said that Basdem School Isulo and others were taken from his father, argued that there’s no abandoned property in Anambra since 1970, adding that what is good for Okeke is also good for Okafor.

Counsel for the Defendant/Anambra State Government and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ben Osaka, who said among other things that the group is taking the legal action because the state government acted on a law passed in 2011 to give back schools to original owners on request, however submitted that it is left for the court to decide if they fit into the criteria set for the return of the schools in the law.

The case was adjourned to 30th April for presentation of more witnesses and cross examination.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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