ENUGU, Nigeria – The last is yet to be heard on the disputed land around the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu as members of the family of late His Royal Highness, Igwe G.O.D. Eneh have appeared with gazetted documents showing their ownership of the said land.
Recall that one Arch. J.J. Emejulu had last Wednesday bulldozed down a section of the Enugu Airport perimeter fence, in his bid to reclaim the land he claimed to be his. Emejulu also demolished people’s property adjacent to the airport, laying claims to ownership of their lands.
His action stirred an angry reaction from the Federal Government, with a vow from the Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika that the full weight of the law would descend on him.
However, addressing journalists in Enugu on Tuesday, the Eneh family described Emejulu as an impostor, challenging him to produce any official document to back up his ownership claims.
The family displayed gazetted copies of the estates within the land in question and agreements, dated as far back as 4th July 1958, as well as another dated November 4, 1965.
They wondered how Emejulu could appear 50 years after to lay claims to the land acquired by their late father and properly gazetted by the government decades of years ago.
Spokesman of the family, Chief Gary Eneh, a former member of the House of Representatives, stated that Emejulu’s claim over the land which he described as “fraud”, “is being challenged vigorously and variously, adding that he went behind and deceived a judge into giving the said order he is parading.
He maintained that, “Mr. Emejulu’s High Court judgement is fraught with lies and bad faith and will be set aside.
“Mr. Emejulu, who is a litigant in an ongoing Suit No. E/642/2016, adjourned after the last hearing date in court 6, Enugu State High Court to September 21, 2020, on a subject matter similar in every material particular surreptitiously approached another court in Enugu State for a motion ex-parte to invade or execute judgement in the location of interest.
“The flaw and huge error in that judgement/execution is that Emejulu concealed from the judge and executing authority that, as has now been clearly proven by the Ministry of Lands and Survey of Enugu State, that his purported Airport Road Phases IV and V have no locational relationship to the area of the present Akanu Ibiam International Airport.
“We wrote a petition to the Aviation Minister seeking compensation for the extension of the runway. Similar petitions have also been submitted to the presidency. The application is receiving attention by the Enugu State Government and the Aviation Ministry.
“We remain the beneficial owners by proper conveyancing commencing with a title registered after acquisition in November 4, 1958, no less than 50 clear years ahead Emejulu’s purported intrusion into the area in 2008.
“This title and registration were subsequently consolidated by a Government Gazette covering the Area known as Akanu Ibiam International Airport since 1965.
“The proper approach will be for the Government of Enugu State to investigate all claims through the Attorney General.”
While challenging Emejulu to come forward with any genuine document, the family said he was “gambling with the land, thinking that he will get away with it. The ownership of that place like we rightly stated is not in doubt, it is properly gazetted. You can see the documents as old as they are, we have all of them intact. He should produce his own gazette and show to the world.
“His claims of court order are also tainted with fraud; so, we have approached the Registrar of the Enugu High Court for a Certified True Copy, COT; we believe that the judge was misled, so we will see the COT and take appropriate legal steps.”