By Nwafor Okafor
A nursing mother, Mrs Ifeyinwa Egwu, of Samino Lane, Oduke Layout, Obosi, in the Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State has decried her eviction from her apartment.
She claimed that six “hefty men” on Monday stormed the four-storey building where she lived and ejected her and four other tenants.
The nursing mother, who was seen breastfeeding her three-month-old baby by the side of her property, alleged that the men broke down her door to enter the apartment.
“They said they were acting on the order of an Ogidi Magistrate’s Court, but they did not show us the order. They rather showed us a suit filed against us by our landlord, Mr Peter Ohaejesi, through his counsel, Mr Uche Abanuno.
“What is surprising is that we do not owe the landlord any rent. We are yearly tenants and the rent we paid this year in January will expire in December 2021.
“The bone of contention is the tenancy agreement, which his new lawyer is demanding. Right now, my husband travelled and before then, he paid the tenancy agreement, including other payments. We were not supposed to be ejected because of tenancy agreement payment to a lawyer.
“Mr Uche Abanuno is the new lawyer who took over from the former one and this problem started when he insisted that whatever agreement we had with the former lawyer was over, and that we had to pay him a tenancy agreement levy of N20,000 each and some peacefully paid. But the funny thing is that both those who paid and those who did not pay were ejected.
“We were not for one day summoned to court or told to appear in court over this issue until those hefty men who said they were from the Ogidi court came and presented this suit without a court order or judgement and started throwing away our property from the building, damaging our belongings in the process.
“Those people also collected money from us after ejecting us. I gave them N20,000, others gave N30,000, and N40,000, with the hope that we would be asked to return to our flats, but rather, they locked the flats and left,” she added.
Another tenant, Mr Osita Ginikanwa, described the eviction as illegal and barbaric.
Ginikanwa said, “We were not summoned to any court. Two weeks ago, the lawyer came with the issue of tenancy agreement and while we were still dragging the matter, he brought a suit against us and at the same time ejection without a court order.
“We were even 10 that were to be ejected, but they ejected five the first day and when they came for the second eviction, the tenants were ready to fight them and they ran away.
“We call on the judiciary to investigate the lawyer who came with the suit number, MID/396/2021 to intimidate us over non-payment of a tenancy agreement levy.”
When contacted on the phone, the landlord asked our correspondent to meet his counsel, Abanuno.
He, however, promised to look into the matter.
Abanuno, on his part, said, “I cannot talk to you on the phone; you have to officially write me with your company’s letterhead, then I will know when it will be convenient to invite you for talks.
“You cannot just call me on phone and expect me to respond to your questions; there is a procedure and that is what I have told you.”.