There is apprehension among residents, land and property owners in Ukhiri village, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, Edo State, as the Appeal Court sitting in Benin City threw out the community’s solicitation, challenging an earlier judgment delivered by the state High Court in Benin in favour of Ulegun Village.
The lower court had in its judgment held that a portion of land measuring 225.47 hectares, along the Benin – Abraka Road, belongs to a rival community, Ulegun.
There have been violent clashes between the two communities occasioning deaths and destruction of property, while the long-term feud has also defied non-legal solutions.
In fact, a proposal by the representatives of the Oba of Benin in the communities (Enogie) that the Benin–Abraka Road serve as the natural boundary between the communities has been defied.
One of the land property owners in Ukhiri, told NDV: “Few years ago, when they attacked us here, they destroyed people’s land and property, they even destroyed the palace of the Enogie as they said the palace is in their land. I have a property here, but this development is sending fears among us.”
In a unanimous decision read by Justice Biobele Abraham Georgewill, in the main and cross-appeal with suit no. CA/B/147/2018 and CA/B/147A, respectively, the Court of Appeal dismissed Ukhiri’s appeal for lacking in merit.
The court allowed the cross-appeal filed by the cross appellants (Ulegun) against the cross-respondents (Ukhiri Village) and awarded the sum of N15 million as damages against Ukhiri.
Speaking shortly after the judgment delivered via zoom, Counsel to Ulegun Village, Anderson Uwadiae Asemota Esq. said that the judiciary remained the last hope of the common man, considering the limited influence his clients wield. (Vanguard)