The Imo Housing Corporation has been accused of engaging in land grabbing in Umuijem-Avu Community in Owerri West Local |Government Area of Imo State.
The people of the community said some personnel of the corporation are using security agents to intimidate them with a view to taking over their land.
A fight broke out last week as youths, women and elders of Umuijem-Avu Community engaged individuals who claim to be agents of the government, making it clear that their land cannot be forcefully taken.
The community insisted that their ancestral land was not for sale and had dragged the corproation to court.
It raised a fresh alarm over moves by the corporation to forcefully take their land despite the pendency of the matter in court.
Crisis erupted on Wednesday when some people claiming to be officials of government came to Utiri Egbelu Mkpala or Egbelu Mkpala land situated at Umuijem to clear the land without any notice to the owners of the land.
The incident drew the anger of the community who thronged the area and insisted the suspected agents of the government leave their land.
Realizing they were on an illegal mission the security agents among them withdrew from the operation even as the bulldozer was recalled.
The elders of the community insisted they never sold, donated or leased their ancestral land to anyone, not even the government.
In a public notice, the community informed that the said piece of land (Utiri Egbelu Mkpala or Egbelu Mkpala situated at Umuijem, Avu, in Owerri West Local Government Area is their ancestral land.
The people vowed never to cede their land to any person or authority.
The public notice is signed by Elder Roland Nwachukwu, Rev. Henshaw Njimezi, Benjamin Anoruo (Eldest Man of the Community), Azunna Oforegbu, Foster Anoruo, Mr. Shadrach Njimezi, Pastor Charles Opara and Alphonsus Akujuo.
Recall that in 2019 the Imo Housing Corporation reportedly invaded their land, cleared it with bulldozer, destroying the soil, crops and economic trees, thereby eliciting their resolve to sue Imo State Government, Attorney General of Imo State and Imo Housing Corporation in Suit No: HOW/789/2019.
The matter is still pending at High Court Owerri before the Chief Judge of Imo State.
According to the notice: “It baffles us that Imo State Housing Corporation, who has refused to file any defence to the suit has now started threatening to clear the remaining portion of our land despite the fact that our suit is still pending.