Business mogul and the Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Oranto Petroleum, Prince Arthur Eze, has asked the National Judicial Council (NJC) to compel Abba community, in Anambra State, to respect the decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on a disputed parcel of land which the court awarded to Ukpo, also, in Anambra State.
In a petition to the NJC chairman, Eze said the people of Abba community have “recklessly disregarded the decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria which is, undoubtedly, final.”
Narrating the genesis of the matter, he noted that the High Court of Anambra State had, in a judgement delivered in the consolidated Suits Nos. AA/53/75 and AA/11/77, on November 12, 1999, granted title over the disputed land in favour of Ukpor.
He noted that though the Abba community filed an appeal on November 18, 1999, they failed to take steps to transmit the record of appeal in the originating case until October 31, 2003.
He said the order of the Appeal Court issued on February 10, 2005, for record of appeal to be transmitted within 30 days was not responded to until April 14, 2005, when the Chief Registrar, in a letter addressed to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal, claimed that the record of originating proceedings was missing.
“The Abba people then filed an application before the Court of Appeal, seeking an order directing the Chief Judge of Anambra State to reassign the consolidated cases to another judge for trial de novo; which application was heard and was, thereafter, struck out by the Court. With regard to the notice of Appeal filed by Abba people on November 18, 1999, against the judgement of the High Court, the Registrar of the High Court signed a certificate of non-compliance with the conditions of appeal, and, on 3/3/2009, the Court of Appeal struck out the said appeal No. CA/E/30/2009 for non-compliance with the conditions of appeal.
Copied in the petition were President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief of Staff to the president, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Chairman Legal Practitioners Privilege Committee, President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano and the Chief Judge of Anambra State.