Bulldozers demolish illegal structures in Anambra…
Written by City Radio on April 6, 2023
Residents of Think Home Estate, Government Reserved Area, Awka, Anambra State have been rendered homeless, following the demolition of their buildings reportedly erected without approval.
The victims, who are counting their losses, reportedly built the structures with disregard to a court order over a 21-year-old land dispute.
The demolition of over 20 houses, including upstairs, church and other structures, followed judgment on the lingering legal battle between the landlords and Chief Jude Osude and his firm, Bekilo Farms Ltd.
The judgment averred that some land grabbers connived with certain individuals in the Ministry of Lands, using their position to dispossess rightful land owners of their property without valid allocation papers or Certificate of Occupancy.
The judgment, delivered by Justice Fredrick Oziakpano, was also ignored by the government, which was a party in the case.
The judge said government, which allocated or granted the land in dispute to Bekilo Poultry and Agriculture Farms, and subsequently issued a Certificate of Occupancy to it, could not revoke the said certificate by mere intention.
According to the Appellate Court, it is settled position of the law that a notice, simpliciter merely constitutes an intention on the part of government to acquire or revoke interests in the land and does not vest until the notice of acquisition is served on the owners under sections 28 and 44 of the said Land Use Act, Cap L 5 of the laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.
Following the appeal court judgment, Osude and his company moved in and began demolition of buildings and structures erected in the estate.