Ihedioha Constitutes Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Lands, Related Matters

Emeka Ihedioha

Esther Oluku

In a bid to rest issues of alleged breach and irregularities in land administration in the state, Imo State Governor, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, has instituted a Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Lands and Related Matters (CILRM).

In a statement made available by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Chibuike Onyeukwu, the “commission shall have full powers and authority to hold hearings which shall be conducted in a manner prescribed by the Commission of Inquiry law.”

The governor in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section three of the Commission of Inquiry (Cap. 24) Laws of Eastern Nigeria, 1963, constituted the CELRM comprising of the following members: Justice Florence Duruoha Igwe (chairperson); Mr. Emmanuel E. Nze (member); Mr. Cajethan Ohiri (member); Mr. Mezu C. Ozowara (member); Ms. Nkiru Victoria Onwu (member);Mr. Kelly Azike (member); Mr. Isaac Oguzie (member/Secretary).

The terms of reference of the CILRM include: To ascertain the extent of land compulsorily acquired or forcefully wrested from the owners; to ascertain and determine whether such compulsory acquisitions as mentioned above were lawfully made or not; to ascertain the extent of allocation and revocation of land in Imo State from June 2006 – May 2019 and determine the propriety of such allocations and revocations.

To ascertain and determine whether due process, diligence and strict adherence to the provisions of Land Use, 1978 and all other relevant laws on acquisition of land were followed; to determine the extent of compliance with the relevant laws for the development of the new Owerri capital territory and adherence to the master plan of Owerri capital territory as authored by Fingerhurt and Partners.

To examine and ascertain whether government land or part of it have been converted to private use and identify the persons responsible and make recommendations for recovery and appropriate sanctions; to exercise all powers conferred on the commission by Section 8 of the law and to do all other things incidental to the terms of reference herein; to do all other things incidental to the terms of reference; and to make recommendations to the government based on their findings.

The CILRM is expected to render its report on the inquiry to the governor not later than 60 days, or such extended period allowed by the governor.