Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Federal High Court sitting in Awka has fixed February 11, 2019, for judgement on the Fundamental Human Rights suit between the Diocese on the Niger and the Anambra State Government over the dispute on the land housing Crowther Memorial Primary School, Onitsha.
Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice I. B. Gafai, fixed the date for the judgement after the leading counsels for the parties had made their final submissions on the case.
In his argument, Mr. Nnamdi Ibegbu (SAN), the leading counsel for the applicants, Diocese on the Niger, had told the court that the Anglican Church had been at the place of dispute for decades, the fact of which he said the government knew but invariably fenced the place, allegedly chasing the worshippers and their priests out of the place.
READ ALSO: FG targets N800m to increase mass housing
He said the state government used the presence of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as a ploy to fence the place after which he said the government allegedly put police men at the gate, the outcome of which he told the court that has now forced the congregation to worship along the street which he said should not be so.
In his pleading, Barr. Ibegbu prayed the court to allow the congregation to continue its normal worship in its former place of worship depending the determination of the suit.
Also in his submission, Mr. Patrick Ikwueto (SAN), the leading counsel for the respondents, Anambra State Government, had argued that the applicants’ claim of Fundamental Human Rights was inappropriate, adding that if what was in dispute was their claim of ownership of the said school premises, they should not come to the Federal High Court.
He told the court that the applicants had already filled a case at Onitsha to claim that they own the school in question and only to turn to the Federal High Court to talk of Fundamental Human Rights infringement.
The court had on Monday, November 26, 2018, in an interim injunction, restrained the Anambra State Government from using any form of force or intimidation to stop the worshippers from entering and using the said BCM for their religious activities while promising that the case would receive accelerated hearing.