As the Anambra State Task Force on Demolition of Illegal Structures continues its ongoing exercise in the Onitsha metropolis despite the Monday sit-at-home, not even the presence of two huge coffins and various charms allegedly attached to a piece of land could scare them from carrying out their duties.
The land, which had already been fenced and situated near the Governor’s Lodge in Onitsha, was said to belong to an unidentified lawyer, had already been fenced and situated near the Governor’s Lodge in Onitsha.
A source in the area told our correspondent that the Monday exercise will mark the fifth time the State Government would be demolishing structures on the land.
The source said, “The lawyer is claiming that the land belongs to his family having reverted to the family after a 100-year lease agreement with the Federal Government.
“According to the lawyer, the land in question is subject to a leasehold of 1910 and 1945 between the Federal Government and his family, which yielded back to the family a reversionary interest in 2009 and the Federal Government released the land to his family.
“He said the Federal Government released the first one on July 13, 2013 and later released the other in 2019.”
It was gathered that since the last demolition of the fence around the property earlier in the year, the lawyer went ahead to build on the land and allegedly placed two coffins and charms at strategic places to scare the demolition team from the land.
However, the government task force, comprising security personnel and officials of the relevant state government agencies defied the charms, pulled down the structures erected on the land and also destroyed the coffins and charms.
Speaking after the exercise, the Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Chike Maduekwe, who led the task force, said no amount of “intimidation” would make the state government not to reclaim the land which he said was designated for judges’ quarters.
Maduekwe insisted that the state government had made it clear that the parcel of land was designated for judges’ quarters and had started developing the site, wondering why the lawyer, who he described as an “interloper”, would continue to trespass on the land.
Maduekwe said, “We have the directive to arrest him and prosecute him if he ever trespasses on this land again. Anambra State Government can no longer tolerate this kind of impunity and will ensure that any interloper is prosecuted.
“The government of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo believes in the rule of law and will not allow people to have their way with this kind of unlawful activities.”
The state government, through the task force, had embarked on the aggressive demolition of illegal structures in Ontitsha and environs on Thursday.
Some of the affected buildings include the Mountain of Holy Ghost Intervention and Deliverance Ministry in Onitsha owned by Prophet Chukwuemeka Ohanaemere, a.k.a Odumeje.
The state government said the exercise was in line with the Onitsha urban renewal plan listed by Governor Charles Soludo on assumption to the office on March 17 to make the state a livable and prosperous state.