I have so much respect for the legal profession and those who have chosen to make a career out of it, this is because the legal profession occupies a very important place in every modern society. But unfortunately, some charlatans have found themselves into this noble profession, and they have sold their shame in the public market and have invariably become a clog in the progressive wheel of the profession and the development of the society. Barr. C. C. Ozumba symbolizes the charlatans and the rot the Nigerian legal system is experiencing today, and such persons should be sanctioned by the Nigerian Bar Association for bringing shame and disrespect to the noble profession due to his mischievous intents and schemes.
It is on this ground that I will love to educate Barr. C. C. Ozumba on the real issues that surround the Abba and Ukwulu – Ukpo communities protracted land dispute.
It is unfortunate that Barr. C. C. Ozumba descended so low as to apply gutter languages in describing a celebrated personality of Chimamanda Adichie; a personality that has brought honour to Nigeria and the Igbo nation. My take is that Barr. C. C. Ozumba is envious of the tract records of the person of Chimamanda Adichie, a record small mind like him can never attain.
The reference to the tainted and unjust ruling made by Justice Onyinye Anumonye of the Neni High Court II as having ruled that the decision reached by the Supreme Court on 15th February, 2019 cannot be revisited by any court in the country is laughable and unfortunate.
Barr. C. C. Ozumba failed to acknowledge the import of the ruling in the matter made by Galumije (Justice of the Supreme Court) that held that, “the loss of the record of the appeal (from the High Court in Awka) is a factor that has vitiated and rendered the judgment of the Appeal Court invalid”. Furthermore, he asked, “if there was a way of enforcing the judgment in the absence of the record of the case”. He maintained that, “it is in the best interest of the parties to go back to the trial court and sort this mess”.
Taking from the ruling by Galumihe (JSC) in number 3 above, I wonder where Barr. C. C. Ozumba got the idea that the Abba and Ukwulu-Ukpo land dispute has done and dusted; except he wants us to believe that he has a very poor knowledge in the interpretation of a court judgment, which will lead to a question mark about how he was able to obtain his legal certification.
His blind ignorant assertion that Abba community tried to instigate a communal clash only exists in the figment of his mind.
It is already on record how his sponsor, Prince Arthur Eze, employed the service of the Nigerian Police to illegally harass, intimidate, arrest and detain many sons of Abba just to stop them from continuing in their pursuit for justice.
The ambiguous and malicious accusation that the people of Abba stole the Awka High Court Record Book to force a retrial in the matter is laughable and childish, as no single individual or community has such powers.
It is also important to educate Barr. C. C. Ozumba that Abba community presently has in their possession a warrant of possession of the disputed land issued to them by an Awka High Court. Is he insinuated that the Awka High Court is under the control of Abba community?
Is Barr. C. C. Ozumba also aware that a Federal High Court, seating in Port Harcourt, Rivers State under Hon. Justice J. K. Omotosho in suit No: FCH/PH/CS/188/2019, and obtained in on Friday 13th September, 2019; gave a restraining order against the Nigerian Police, the people of Ukwulu and Ukpo to stay clear from that land? I also want to believe that an ignorant Barr. C. C. Ozumba holds the view that Abba had obtained the order from the black market since he and his cohorts are specialists in that field.
Is Barr. C. C. Ozumba suggesting the both the Awka High Court and the Federal High Court of Port Harcourt, Rivers State aired in law to have granted the prayers of Abba community even after their (Ukpo) misinterpreted of the Supreme Court ruling?
I guise Barr. C. C. Ozumba cannot claim ignorant of the demolition of the parameter fences of two prominent sons of Abba community, Chief Godwin Nweke (Chairman of Best Aluminum Group) and Chief Pius Nweke (CEO, Best Aluminum Group), even when their buildings or fences were not close to the disputed land? And in line with number 5 above, the family of Nweke in the face of this provocation had been at the forefront to plead with the youths of Abba to leave the matter to God who has been their guide and protector, and not to take the laws into their hands to attempt any reprisal attack on the people of Ukpo; yet Barr. C. C. Ozumba had painted Abba people as having planned to instigate a communal clash. What a bad way of demonizing a people!
I will want to believe that Barr. C. C. Ozumba may not have heard that his mentor, Prince Arthur Eze has on several occasions tried to pay off Chief Pius Nweke so he can hands-off from all issues concerning the disputing land, promising to pay him all expenses he must have incurred all through the legal tussle to be doubled five times the amount spent. And if he wasn’t comfortable with this, he should mention any amount he wants which will also be paid to him in any currency of his choice. Unfortunately for Prince Arthur Eze, Chief Pius Nweke turned these offers down. This is a pointer that the people of Abba are not as hungry as Barr. C. C. Ozumba will want the world to believe, because it was certainly clear that if such offer had been made to anybody in Ukpo community, I repeat anybody, such a person would have jumped for the offer and betrayed his people.
Is Barr. C. C. Ozumba also aware that Akpu-Ukpo, one of the villages in community had said it time without number that the land in question belongs to the people of Abba, this was even before the Prince Arthur Eze and his gang in Ukpo, opted to act as witness to Ukwulu before metamorphosing and requested to be joined as co-respondent in the matter in 1985; this is many years after the land dispute had been on? One may be forced to ask what prompted such move.
Has Barr. C. C. Ozumba cared to tell the public why Ukpo suddenly metamorphosed from being witness to a disputing partner in the land dispute?
The take from 13 and 14 above has watered-down the mischievous claims and assertion made by Barr. C. C. Ozumba that Abba is a tenant to Ukpo and will continue to remain their tenant as long as it has to do with the Agu-Abba land under dispute.
It is disheartening to understand that Barr. C. C. Ozumba is a legal adviser to Ukpo Improvement Union, no wonder there has been no improvement of any kind in the community, as his likes have arrested every form of development in Ukpo community.
Barr. C. C. Ozumba must have heard of the careless outboast made by Prince Arthur Eze on 21st December, 2019 at the Igwe Robert Eze of Ukpo Ofala Festival, where he publicly admitted to have offered the people of Abba one hundred million naira so they will consent to his desire for the land to be shared. I wonder which sensible landlord will accept to share part of his piece of land with his supposed tenant?
Also during the Igwe Robert Eze Ofala Festival, Prince Arthur Eze admitted that he was made to lead his Community, Ukpo, into the Abba and Ukwulu land dispute, after one Barr. Umeadi (SAN), informed him that the dispute survey plan tendered in the High Court by the people of Abba included Oye Ukpo, Maternity Ukpo, down to the express road would be taken over by the people of Abba if eventually they win the people of Ukwulu in the land dispute. This is without making any verification to the said information received from Barr. Umeadi.
Prince Arthur Eze did admit that he sort the legal advice of Barr. Umeadi (SAN) who therein advised them to join Ukwulu against Abba in the land dispute, a move Prince Arthur Eze blindly made accepted and ventured into. This is an insinuation he admitted not to have verified before blindly leading his community into an unnecessary land dispute with the people of Abba. Barr. C. C. Ozumba should now understand how his Community landlordship came about. Very unfortunate.
The days ahead will ascertain if actually the ruling of Justice Onyinye Anumonye, which was concocted will stand the test of time.
By Azowue O. Emmanuel
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