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Family Risks Payment Of N40m Fine Over Land Invasion In Achina, Anambra State

The family of Late Edwin Onyiliagha is at risk of paying over N40m in fine for trespassing, conspiracy and invasion of the family land of Late Nze Ambrose Okpalaku of Umulolo, Umuezeiyi Village, Achina, Anambra State.

In a case brought to the Federal High Court Ekwulobia with suit number: AG/7/2024, the plaintiff, Nze Nathaniel Okpalaku is on behalf of his family seeking the imposition of a Twenty Million Naira fine as general damages for trespass and another Twenty Million Naira fine as general damages for conversion against the defendants.

In the court document, the defendants which include Mr Charles Onyiliagha, Mr Anthony Onyiliagha were alleged to have on January 5th, 2024, conspired with others to invade the land belonging to the family of Late Nze Ambrose Okpalaku.

During the invasion, eyewitnesses confirmed that the defendants and their armed thugs cut down one of the breadfruit trees (ukwa) on the land and also carted away all the breadfruits and logs of wood from the said tree they felled, despite protests from members of Late Nze Ambrose Okpalaku’s family present.

The said tree was located on the part of Late Nze Ambrose Okpalaku’s land in front of the fourth portion of Late Mr. Edwin Onyiliagha’s Compound.

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As if the damages caused were not enough, on the 8th of January 2024, the defendants and their armed thugs again invaded the land of Late Nze Ambrose Okpalaku which belongs to the plaintiff’s family. This time, the invasion was on the smaller part of the land of Late Nze Ambrose Okpalaku located in front of the empty portion of Late Mr. Edwin Onyiliagha’s Compound.

During the invasion, the defendants and their armed thugs cut down another breadfruit tree (ukwa) and a pear tree (ube) situate on the said land of Late Nze Ambrose Okpalaku, and also carted away all the breadfruits, pears and logs of wood from the said trees they felled, despite protests from members of Late Nze Ambrose Okpalaku’s family.

In an interview, the Plaintiff, Nze Nathaniel Okpalaku confirmed that his father, Late Nze Ambrose Okpalaku, was the undisputed owner in exclusive possession of the already stated parcel of land situated at Umulolo, Umuezeiyi Village, Achina in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.

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He stated that Late Nze Ambrose Okpalaku acquired the land from his forbears by way of customary inheritance under Achina native laws and custom, and from time immemorial, ownership of the said land have remained with the progenitors and have progressively devolved on their descendants down to Late Nze Ambrose Okpalaku.

Nze Okpalaku expressed surprise that the family of Late Mr. Edwin Onyiliagha who were beneficiaries of Late Nze Ambrose Okpalaku’s benevolence through the granting of the plea by Late Mr. Edwin Onyiliagha for an access road to his compound, would conspire to invade the land of the man who sacrificed parts of his land to give them a better access road to their compound even though they had an access road initially.

Emboldened by their rascality, Late Mr. Edwin Onyiliagha’s family went further to obtain a purported Notice of Abate from the Aguata Local Government Health Department, to force my family to cut the economic trees in our compound, Nze Okpalaku stated, while vowing to ensure that he uses every legal means possible to forestall future occurrence of such incident.

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