Awka – There is palpable tension at Satelite Top Estate, Umunya in Oyi Council Area of Anambra State, over what residents tagged unprovoked blockage of the access roads and entrances to their residential buildings by the Traditional Ruler of the community, Igwe Chris Onyekwuluje.
The residents are beckoning on the Anambra State Government to intervene in the matter and save them from the hands of their oppressor.
TNC correspondent who visited the estate on Monday revealed that most of the residents could not access their buildings due to heaps of sand, allegedly dumped by the traditional ruler at the entrance of their buildings.
It was gathered that the land where the estate was developed has been a subject of litigation between two families in Umunya- the Nwoye-Ugo and Onyekwulujes, since 2010.
The Chairman of the Estate residents, Emmanuel Ubadigbo alleged that the traditional ruler had invaded the estate with thugs bearing arms and carried out the blockage of their homes.
“We even heard that they threatened to maim us if we had appeared during the activity. What we find difficult to understand is why the monarch should be involved in this kind of nefarious activity,” he said.
Ubadigbo revealed that the occupants of the estate had duly purchased the land from the Nwoye-Ugo family in Umunya for residential purposes in 2011, and have expended so much resource to make the place habitable by providing access roads, electricity and security.
He said they were however shocked when the traditional Ruler of Umunya, wrote them through a lawyer to provide documents showing that they are the true owners of the lands in the estate.
According to him, their refusal led to the unprovoked blockage of the entrances to their buildings with heaps of sand.
“We are not indigenes of Umunya. We are a cooperative group and we bought this land from the Nwoye-Ugo family in 2011 and ever since then, we have invested huge amount of money in developing this estate. We equally pay all the development levies in Umunya town, which the Igwe collects. Why the Igwe will all of a sudden demand that we produce the documents we used to purchase the lands is what we don’t know because we did not buy the lands from him,” he said.
He called on the state government to wade into the matter and call the traditional ruler to order.
TNC correspondent visited Samuel Nwoye-Ugo who represents the alleged owners of the land who backed the claim of legitimacy of the transfer of ownership by the residents.
“I gave the land to the occupants of the estate when they approached us for residential area. We stand by them and will always do because they are genuine. Let them leave this people alone,” he said.
When contacted, the Umunya traditional Ruler, Igwe Onyekwuluje revealed that the land has been a subject of litigation between the Nwoye Ugo Family and Onyekwuluje family since 2010.
He made it clear that the documents that is requested by the Onyekwuluje family was to ascertain whether the other party actually sold those plots of land when there is a subsisting order against further actions on the land.
“Assuming that Nwoye-Ugo sold these lands to them, I don’t think the occupants will lose anything because all we need to do is to go back to court and let it know that Nwoye-Ugo had gone into the land when it is a subject of litigation. The family of Lazarus Onyekwuluje and the Nwoye-Ugo family own the land in question and it has been in court since 2010. What we did was to write the occupants of the Satelite Estate to show the papers with which they got the land within 7 days. Now, a month had elapsed and we haven’t seen the documents. What the Onyekwuluje family did was to create access to the said estate and in the course, use the sands to block the entrance of the buildings so that they can come forward with the documents proving their ownership of the lands they are occupying,” he said.
Igwe Onyekwuluje denied that he is taking the action personally in his capacity as king but said the action came from the entire Onyekwuluje family, further denying claims that he invaded the estate with thugs to maim the occupants.
The monarch appealed to the occupants of the estate to come forward with the requested documents so as to put the issue to an end.