Gideon Arinze in Enugu
A total of 13 buildings, mostly duplexes, were Thursday partially demolished when an Enugu-based architect, Jonathan Emejulu, arrived at Airport Road Layout, Phase IV and V with earth moving machines.
Emejulu told journalists that he was executing Enugu State High Court judgment which went in his favour over the ownership of the Layout.
The demotion was earlier halted last Wednesday when the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Abdurrahman, invited the contending parties and their legal counsel to the state police command to interpret the court order to him.
The OC Legal had after studying the court documents, determined that Emujulu had a genuine court order.
Consequently, the CP gave him the go ahead to commence the demolition with detachments of mobile and regular policemen.
Emejulu, who arrived at the layout with a truck load of mobile and regular policemen and a bulldozer around 11a.m. Thursday, commenced the demolition without hindrance.
He said he would take over and demolish all the structures in the section of the land where the Enugu EN-power Free Trade Zone is sited, claiming that the sprawling land also belonged to him.
Emejulu insisted that he bought the layout containing more than 300 plots of land from Umuenwene Iji Nike community in Enugu East Local Government Area of state in 2008, and that the property was gazetted by the state government before some people started laying claim and trespassing into the land.
He alleged that some individuals in the state, including the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi; member representing Enugu East/Isi-Uzo federal constituency, Cornelius Nnaji, and the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Vitus Okechi, were trying to use government power to wrest the layout from him.
Emejulu claimed that they had entered the land and demolished more than 25 buildings he had built at the cost of N400 million two years ago.
“We are here to levy second execution on the property on the Layout. I got a court judgment in 2017, and the 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,” he said.
When contacted, Ubosi and Okechi alleged that Emejulu was parading fake court judgment, saying he sued the wrong person who had entered consent judgment whereas the real owner of the land was still in court with him.