By Nwafor Okafor
The presence of two massive coffins and assorted charms allegedly affixed on a piece of land by a lawyer ( name withheld) apparently to scare a taskforce on demolition of illegal structures set up by the Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, could not stop the government team from executing their duties on Monday.
It was gathered that the disputed lawyer’s property, already fenced by him, was near the Governor’s Lodge in Onitsha.
A source told our correspondent that,”The “Monday exercise will mark the fifth time the state government is demolishing structures on the land which the Onitsha lawyer is laying claims to .
“The lawyer is claiming that the land belongs to his family having reverted to the family after a 100-year lease agreement with the Federal Government.
“According to the lawyer, the land in question is subject to a leasehold of 1910 and 1945 between the Federal Government and his family, which yielded back to the family a reversionary interest in 2009 and the Federal Government released the land to his family.
“He said the federal government released the first one on the 13th of July, 2013 and later released the other in 2019,” the source stated.
It was gathered that since the last demolition of the fence of the property earlier this year, the lawyer had gone ahead to build on the land and allegedly placed two coffins and charms at strategic placed on the disputed property to scare the government team away from the land.
However, the government taskforce, comprising security personnel and officials of the relevant state government agencies defied the charms and pulled down the structures erected on the land and destroyed the coffins.
Speaking after the exercise, the Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Chike Maduekwe, who led the taskforce, said no amount of cajoling would make the state government not to reclaim the land which he said was designated for judges’ quarters.
He averred that the state government had made it abundantly clear that the parcel of land was designated for judges’ quarters and had started developing the site, wondering why the Onitsha lawyer, who he described as an interloper, would continue to trespass on the land.
Maduekwe said “We have the directive to arrest him and prosecute him if he ever trespasses on this land again.Anambra State Government can no longer tolerate this kind of impunity and will ensure that any interloper is prosecuted.
“The government of Prof Chukwuma Soludo believes in the rule of law and will not allow people to have their way with this kind of unlawful activities.”
The Anambra State government had about a week ago embarked on aggressive demolition of illegal structures in Ontitsha and environs including the demolition of Mountain of Holy Ghost Intervention and Deliverance Ministry in Onitsha owned by a fiery prophet Chukwuemeka Ohanaemere, a.k.a Odumeje.
The government said the exercise was in line with the Onitsha urban renewal plan enunciated by Soludo on assumption to office on March 17 to make the state a livable and prosperous state.