A property owner in Owerri, Engr Innocent Opara has raised an alarm over the invasion of his property by those he described as unscrupulous lawyers and sect leaders.
Opara, had sued one Mr Joseph Njoku and his lawyer, Charles mgbekoye over the invasion of his property situated along the busy Uratta road, off MCC in Owerri North local government area of Imo state.
According to him, the duo and their masked conspirators, had put him under intense pressure to acquire his hard earned property which he bought since 2002.
He expressed concerns over the desperation in which the duo were displaying, especially since Mr. Joseph Njoku was thrown out of his former shanty by his previous landlord, saying their mischievous behaviour, which includes disparaging innocent government officials, were schemes to sleaze him off his property.
Opara disclosed that he bought the property in 2002 and secured permit to fence it which he did and completed in 2004.
However, Joseph who boasted he bought the same land in 2019 for N11million from yet to be identified persons, is contending with Engineer opara who bought his land in 2002, acquired a fencing permit and completed his fencing in 2004 and has ownership until the alleged intruders broke into the property.
According to him, everyone in the area knew that the property was his, even as he warned Mr. Njoku not to be fooled by notorious lawyers.
According to him, when Joseph was seen walking and looking into the land, petty traders who operate in front of the building, told him the property belonged to Opara, and advised Joseph not to fall victim of fake land agents even as he added that the counsel was ignored.
Rather, Joseph Njoku and his members were whipping up sentiments that the location of the land, is best suitable for their ambiguous ‘Royal Ambassadors Church”, a development Engineer Opara implied as ridiculous.
Further, he disclosed that his caretaker had farmed on the land for over 12years until 2016 when he relocated from Owerri adding that everything was alright until the invasion.
He said “I was shocked when a few neighbours around the property called and alerted me that someone had broken the back gate, and few days later before the court hearing, they had speedily erected a shanty working from a Saturday all through Sunday night, calling it a church, all in a bid to sleaze me off my property”, Opara lamented.
Further, he said till date, the property contenders were yet to proof who their vendor is, even as they are making him spend his meager savings going to court.
Opara lamented that for a matter before a competent court, Joseph Njoku and his lawyer, Charles mgbekoye have granted numerous press statements, an action that is clearly subjudice, just to forcefully acquire a property he acquired for his sister who lives in London, in appreciation of her human kindness towards family members.
According to him, properties in the area are sold from N30million. Njoku who boasted he paid N11million in mid 2019 (last year) for the same property is yet to put a face. Rather CK property Agency Ltd which is owned by the same Charles Mgbekoye his lawyer is still the undertone of the music they are dancing.
“These people have twisted the facts so much that I fear for us as a people. Every week, these people reel out lies in the media, with no fear of God, no regard for the law and no respect for monumental institutions. All these propaganda and desperation against innocent people, especially against those in the Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) and it is absolutely wrong”, Opara lamented.
Further he said “Is it not curious that a lawyer who claimed to have acquired a property from a faceless client and provably through his estate agent, will turn around to provide free legal services and representation for the client he purportedly sold to: if not to show that the whole process is fraudulent and that he needs to cover his tracks”, Opara said.
He maintained that if not checked, these land grabbers, were the people making Owerri unsafe as they are giving the people and State a bad name.
Opara said no true clergyman will encroach into someone’s property despite repeated warnings from people residing in the area, who repeatedly warned and told him it was wrong to break into a property acquired since 2002.
He said “Has Owerri become a place of lawlessness where people can break into another’s property, build a shanty without any form of documentation from the OCDA to build? If the shanty is pulled down then the GM is accused of bribery and corruption for doing his job. Is the head of this cult trying to use his fellows behind the scene conspirators to intimidate the GM of OCDA for not collaborating with him to do evil”, he queried.
It was gathered that the already the case with suit number HOW/1115/2019 is scheduled for hearing before Justice K. A. Ojiako but the defendants were delaying it with all sorts of applications to delay and frustrate Opara out of his property.
Engr Opara appealed to the court to call the defendants to order from issuing frivolous press statements and interviews of a matter before a competent court of law.
He said “At the rate at which these people are going, they want to destroy the sanctity of the judiciary or why else do they issue statements over a matter before a court if not that they are trying to pervert the justice system which is wrong. I am sure they are not able to influence the Judge who is well respected and known for fairness and integrity. That is why they are trying media propaganda and sleaze. The court should call them to order while I call on them to vacate my property immediately”, he stated.
The matter comes up before Justice Ojiako of the Owerri high court.