Magnus Eze, Enugu
What could have resulted in a bloodbath was averted in Enugu, yesterday, when an architect, Jonathan Emejulu, moved into the Airport Road Layout, Enugu to execute a court order which authorised him to demolish buildings allegedly erected on his land by illegal occupants.
As soon as bulldozers arrived to commence demolition of the buildings, some residents mobilised and were ready for a showdown. It took the timely intervention of the State Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Abdur-rahman who made a call inviting all the parties to the Police Command to quell the confrontation.
Before the Police Commissioner intervened, more than 20 armed policemen who accompanied Emejulu to enforce the court order were engaging in hot argument with policemen already on ground guarding the Enpower Enugu Free Trade Zone which Emejulu claimed also encroached on his land.
Emejulu said he bought the layout containing more than 300 plots of land from Umuenwene Iji Nike community in Enugu East Local Government Area in 2008, and that the property was gazetted by the state government before some people began to lay claim and trespassed on it.
Emejulu alleged some powerful people in government were trying to take the property by force, and that two years ago, under the guise of government revocation of the land, they had entered the land and demolished more than 25 buildings valued at about N400m which he had erected.
Said Emejulu: “We are here to levy second execution on the property, on the layout. I got a court judgment in 2017, Enugu State High Court and the police ordered for an execution, to be levied for me to reclaim my land; which I consequently did last year. Over a year ago, and because of the calibre of people involved; that participated in selling my land to people, they are very powerful people in government. They said that they will use their connection in government to take away the land from me,” he alleged.
Emejulu, however said Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had no hand in his ordeal.