Family cries out over seizure of farmland, harassment by Ebonyi govt over airport project

Family cries out over seizure of farmland, harassment by Ebonyi govt over airport project

- A family in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state has appraochead a court to seek protection

- The family accused the Ebonyi state government of intimidation, haarrasments and threats

- The bone of contention is the land used by the government for its proposed airport project

A family of six based in Abakaliki has cried out over the seizure of their farmland allegedly on the orders of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state without any form of agreement or compensation from the state government.

The family who stated the land is their ancestral land, also accused the Umahi government of harassment and death threats.

Head of the family, Mr. Nwantinti Christopher Eze in suit No FHC/A1/CS/82/19 filed at the Federal High Court Abakaliki said their lives are in danger.

The family through their counsel, Mr Gerald U. Abonyi, in a statement sent to journalists on Monday, November 2, argued that the decision by the state government ran contrary to the provision of Land Use Act which provides for compensation in event of acquisition of land for public interest.

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Part of the statement read: “The current situation in Ebonyi state remains critical as the applicants in the afore referred case are been haunted, harassed with the employ and deployment of armed thugs who in one instance threatened to burn down the entire house of Eze.

“We concede that the airport project in Ebonyi state is a laudable project but also one that shall also benefit the living.

“Being a matter now subjudice as in above, we insist that the rule of law must respected by Ebonyi government and its assigns and agents while we await the just decision of the court.”

When contacted for reaction, the Ebonyi state commissioner for information, Uchenna Orji, however faulted the claim by the family arguing they lacked the moral latitude to demand compensation for the land.

Orji insist the family is making an issue out of the land “where there is no case.”

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“If you read your law very well, compensation is for economic trees, or developed property. Where such arises, government does not hesitate in doing that. The remuneration has been made on such property, developed property and economic trees,” he added.

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Meanwhile, the federal government has revealed that it has concluded plans to develop and turn the large salts deposits in Ebonyi into commercial quantity.

This, the governent said, would positively rub-off for growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the government and also generate thousands of jobs opportunity for the teeming youths in the state.

This was disclosed by the minsiter of state, mines and steel development, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah in Abakaliki.

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