By Chukwudi Ndubeze
Umueje community in Ayamelum local government area, Anambra State has offered a portion of the community land to Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, to establish its branch of the institution.
The traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Elias Nneli disclosed this to Orient Daily shortly after a court session at the Federal High Court, Awka, Thursday that struck out a case brought to it by one of the community’s illustrious son, Mr. Benson Amaluche.
Igwe Nneli explained that the land was given to the institution to put up its annex agricultural faculty in the area and also to create job opportunities for the teeming youths in the area.
www. odogwublog com. gathered that Chief Amaluche brought a case before the court to stop the community giving the land to the school management, alleging that the school should be paying royalty to the community which the traditional ruler and his cabinet kicked against.
They claimed that land ownership in the community was based on communal basis and that the constitution, right from inception, do not give land to visitors on royalty.
Igwe Nneli urged the plaintiff to have a rethink and join hands with the leadership of the community in bringing the desired development into the community
In reaction to the judgement, the counsel to the community, Barrister Lawrence Obiora, said the plaintiff, Mr. Benson Amaluche, were looking for a declaration that they are the owners of the land that was given to the University.
The counsel said the contention of the community had been that the case was a land matter bothering on a declaration of title to land and that the court found out it has no legal jurisdiction to handle the matter and that the parties involved should meet the appropriate court.
The president general of the community, Chief Felix Chidube, while saying the land was given to the institution in 2020, reasoned that the judgement favoured the community and will bring the desired partnership the community had wanted with UNIZIK.
He said, “the land was given in consonant with the laws of Umueje community. Some communities have been looking for this opportunity and we saw it as a privilege to give out our community land to the institution. The court struck out the suit and we are very happy, he said.
However, the prosecuting counsel refused to comment on the matter when he was approached, immediately after the court session.