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Nigerian Army Seals Property in Enugu, Sparks Controversy Over Ownership

Nigerian army seals property bought during civil war
Nigerian army seals property bought during civil war

The Nigerian Army has locked out occupants of a property located at No. 7, Abakaliki Lane, GRA, claiming it was acquired during the 1967-1970 civil war.

This action has stirred controversy and raised questions about the rightful ownership of the property.

According to reports, soldiers from the 82 Division, led by one Okey Ayogu, sealed off the property on Wednesday evening.

The army’s move follows a petition by the Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN) on behalf of the property owner, Citizen Nana Ogbodo, appealing for intervention.

CRRAN’s petition, addressed to the Minister of Defence, Muhammed Badaru, highlighted concerns that the army had not provided evidence supporting its claim to the property. Despite a letter from the Chief of Army Staff stating that the matter was under investigation, the army allegedly took unilateral action.

However, in response to the allegations, the Nigerian Army, through its Director of Army Public Relations, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, issued a statement refuting the claims of unlawful seizure.

The army asserts that the property rightfully belongs to it, citing the case of a retired officer, Col Emeka Ugwuoke, who was removed from the premises in April 2023 after attempting to convert it into his private property.

Furthermore, the army emphasized its commitment to upholding human rights and the rule of law, calling for a thorough investigation to resolve the dispute through legal channels. It also reaffirmed its readiness to present evidence of ownership to competent authorities.

In a twist, documents obtained by Newsmen from the Enugu State Ministry of Lands reveal a Certificate of Occupancy issued to Citizen Nana Ogbodo for the property. Additionally, a handover letter from the Nigerian Army to the Enugu State Government in 2015 indicates that some properties were released, while others were held in trust.

The conflicting narratives surrounding the ownership of the property have heightened tensions in Enugu and underscore the need for a transparent and impartial resolution to the dispute.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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