Human rights lawyer,Mike Ezekhome, SAN, has slammed a N50bn lawsuit against the Anambra State Government.
He said the claim was for damages for defacing about 148 hectres of land belonging to the Federal government in the state.
Speaking at the Anambra State judicialry complex in Awka, Anambra Stste after a resuming hearing on the matter, Ezekhome said the state government had no powers in any extant law to trespass or revoke any land legally allotted to the Federal Government.
“We are claiming the sum of N50 billion as damages for defacing the land in the first instance. The structures there are not the structures approved by the federal government with the agreement of the allottees numbering 1,850.
“And then a single profit-oriented company taking over. That’s an unfair deal. The Anambra State government should know that.
“Under sections 315 and 317 of the constitution read together with sections 1, 10, 28 and 51 of the Land Use Act, Anambra State has no power whatsoever and howsoever to take over land belonging to the Federal Government in Anambra State because the same state government had already given this land to the federal government as shown by evidence attached.
“And the federal government had already taken over the project as federal government’s sites and services scheme at Amansea in Anambra State which is about 148.336 hectares of land.
“Having taken over, the federal government decided that in order to build it, they have to allocate it to allottees to develop it to specifications.
“The lands were bulldozed, graded; streets were put. Then, suddenly, the Anambra State government purported to revoke the certificate of occupancy given to the federal government in September 2009 .
“And the federal government said ‘you can’t. This is a land that we own through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and we have allocated it to some allottees to build according to our specifications.
“The state government has no power to take over land belonging to the federal government. It’s an exception to the land use act which is that all lands in the state belong to the state government which it holds in trust for the people.
“So, we told the court today, the background story. This matter has been on since 2015 but that unfortunately, the Aanmbra State government has given or rather is purporting to give the land to Efab Construction Company to build houses on the land even whilst the dispute is going on.
“They should be careful not be working on the land that is in dispute and I believe that the judge and the counsel to the Anamnbra State government got the message.
“So, it is left to them whether they can take that big risk of constructing on a land that is in dispute to their knowledge and where they have been having lawyers since 2015.”
Counsel for the Anambra State Government, Emeka Etiaba, SAN, said there was no going back on the matter.
“We’ll be here on 30th March again to adopt our addreses after which we look forward to judgment from the court.“
JUST IN: Ivory Coast Prime Minister is dead
The Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire, Gon Coulibaly, confirmed dead.
Mr Coulibaly, 61, died on Wednesday evening after falling ill at a ministerial meeting.
Furthermore, he recently returned from France where doctors treated him for two months for a heart ailment.
On Wednesday, he felt unwell during a weekly cabinet meeting.
He was taken to the hospital from there and died at the hospital; the BBC reported.
They had chosen Mr Coulibaly as the ruling party’s candidate for October’s presidential election after Alassane Ouattara said he would not seek a third term in office.
APC will win Nasarawa Assembly bye-election says speaker
Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, has expressed optimism that the All Progressives Congress ( APC) will win the Aug.8, Nasarawa Central House of Assembly bye-election in the state.
Abdullahi said this when he received Mr. Ismaeel Danbaba, the party’s candidate for the election, in Lafia on Wednesday.
He said that the victory of the APC at the poll would further consolidate its position as the ruling party as well as ensure peace, progress, and development in the state.
“I must say that your victory at the just concluded APC primary election shows your general acceptability by your people.
“Leadership is an act of God, it is not by power, strength, wealth, or any kind of favor, but the will of God.
” I want you to understand and appreciate what God has done for you and therefore, move to embrace all those that contested with you because we are all equal before the giver.
“So, carry all of them along and God will see you through, it will be a victory all through by his grace,
“Congratulations and don’t relent because it is not yet over until it is over,” the Speaker added.
Abdullahi urged stakeholders and people of the constituency to support the APC candidate to enable him to win the election without much hustle.
Earlier, Danbaba, solicited the support of the speaker, stakeholders, and other people of the constituency to enable him to win the election.
He pledged not to fail the people of the constituency if elected.
The Newsmen reports that INEC fixed Aug. 8 for the election following the death of Mr. Suleiman Adamu, member representing Nasarawa Central at the state House of Assembly on April 30.
JUST IN: Wike sacks perm sec for flouting COVID-19 guidelines
River State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has sacked a Permanent Secretary, Mr Sunny Okere, with immediate effect for flouting and obstructing the enforcement of the COVID-19 guidelines.
He said the sacked permanent secretary had the temerity to chase away officials of the state Ministry of Health, who went to Oyigbo to enforce the established guidelines on public burials.
A statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, said the governor spoke on Wednesday in a statewide broadcast.
Wike said his action against the permanent secretary would act as as a lesson to all other public officers who might wish to be irresponsible.
The governor also appealed to residents of the state to take personal responsibility to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
He said with the commencement of inter-state travels and domestic flights, residents must be cautious in relating with friends and relatives coming from heavily impacted areas like Lagos and Abuja in line with the established protocol of 14 days Isolation.
He said as at July 8, the COVID-19 samples collected were 4573; samples tested, 3871; total confirmed cases, 1235; discharged cases, 810; active cases, 382and total deaths 43.
“From the first days of this virus, we took serious measures and literally set the pace in our country to slow down the spread.
“We have noticed that most affected people are resorting to self medication instead of presenting themselves for treatment at the State’s Treatment Centres.
“Those who experience symptoms of fever, cough, loss of smell or taste and shortness of breath, among others should present themselves for appropriate treatment at the expense of the State Government.
“Furthermore, in the face of increasing infections and systemic risk to public health and safety, most residents have continued to disregard the mitigating protocols with reckless abandon.
“Public and private transporters, business owners and churches are refusing to adhere to the relevant protocols.
“Burial ceremonies are also reportedly being conducted in clear breach of the 50 persons maximum attendance limit such that a serving Permanent Secretary had the temerity to chase away officials of the State Ministry of Health who went to enforce the established guidelines on public burials at Oyigbo”
He assured that government would decontaminate public schools to keep them safe for resumption in line with the Federal Government’s Guidelines.
He said the government was also appraising the prospect of opening markets as soon as it was satisfied that it was safe with appropriate guidelines on social distancing, hand washing and wearing of face masks.
Wike announced the setting up of a Joint Taskforce made up of security and civilian personnel to enforce the wearing of face masks.
He said that to sustain the progress made in the state, the State Security Council imposed a night time curfew from 8pm to 6am on Bonny Local Government and Onne Community in Eleme Local Government with effect from July 10, 2020 until further notice.
The governor assured all health workers, including doctors and nurses that government would continue to cater for their welfare as they continue to serve the state at grave risks to their own lives.
He added that government would not fail to do whatever it takes to slow down the spread of the virus.
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