Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Enugu State Government in collaboration with some soldiers has demolished a multi-million naira building at the Independence Layout Enugu belonging to a retired Assistant Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Barr. Okay Ezugwu.
The agents of the state through the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA), assisted by some soldiers carried out the demolition of the sprawling edifice.
We gathered that Ezugwu’s travails started during the regime of the former administration of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi when some officials of the state government then decided to re-allocate some plots of land in the area to themselves and their cronies.
Speaking, the immigration Chief said that the whole matter started In August of 2021, when a young man came to his house and introduced himself as Okey Hyacinth Ayogu.
He claimed to have been given a whole expanse of land in that area and that he had about 6000 plots in the area including mine.
According to Ezugwu, “He kept disturbing us until later he decided to go to court.
“When he went to court, the state government that he claimed gave him land came and said they wanted to be joined in the suit as a party because since the man is saying they gave him, they want to be joined so that they can at least represent the interest of the state.
“He objected to that judgment. As soon as the court joined the state, he ran away from there and went to the Court of Appeal.
“He went to the Court of Appeal to contest why the state should be joined and we are waiting for a date from the Court of Appeal up till now. So at a stage he actually stopped coming.”
Ezugwu said that just about two weeks ago, the same Ayogu came with soldiers and started re-surveying the entire area again.
“So, last Friday, my workers called me and told me that I should come, that this man has come with some soldiers.
“I raced down with some of my friends, and on getting there I saw people from Enugu State Capital Territory. The man came to me, spoke our language and threatened me that he would deal with me.
“The leader of the team from the capital territory asked me if I was aware that I was encroaching into somebody’s property.
“I told them as far as I was concerned, I am not aware that this man owns any property here. I narrated how I came there, and what I have done on the site.
“I also told them how the man came after seven years and said he had been given that area and what I told him, how we headed to court, how the state government said they will address the whole thing, that I have all the documents to reflect whatever claim,” Ezugwu said.
He said that the state government initially denied any involvement in the matter but later invited both of them for a discussion.
He said: “Last week Monday morning, I was invited for a meeting in the government house and I went.
“I made my position known. I wrote a letter to the Governor and I attached every attachable. I told the story of how I have gone around with this man.
“It was when I got there that I discovered that something was not right, because one of the officials of the state government, who obviously should know and was part of what happened in the last regime in terms of the legal presentations as the solicitor general, apparently became the spokesman of the company.”
Ezugwu said he thought that the government had resolved to intervene in the matte only to be called on Tuesday that the Capital Territory officers and the soldiers were blocking all the road.
“And before you could say jack the bulldozer, went and brought down my gate and then moved in again and attacked the building in minutes,” he said.
He said that all efforts to ascertain the true identify of the soldiers involved in the act and where they came from has proved abortive.