The Umuachonwa family of Umuahu, Orji Community in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State has cried out over the demolition of stalls in the Nkworji Market.
The family which has 39 stalls comprising 25 lock-up and 14 open shops at the market regretted that the demolition is taking place in spite of a subsisting court order.
It was gathered that the demolition is being undertaken by the trio of Imo State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Imo State Amalgamated Market Traders Association, ISAMATA, and the Tony Umezurike-led administration of Owerri North Local Government Council.
Recall that on August 9, 2021, an Imo State High Court sitting in Owerri and presided over by Justice E.F. Njemanze ceded the 39 shops to the Umuachonwa family being the original owners of the land on which Nkworji Market is built.
Commenting on the development, a member of the Umuachonwa family, Chief Amanze C. P. Njoku said the state government or ministry or agency has no business in the market.
Chief Njoku, a University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) History graduate said the action of the state government to demolish and reconstruct the market is a violation of the order of court.
He said; “It is on record that the Umuachonwa descendants secured judgment in Suit No: HOW/359/2019 in which the state government and Owerri North LGA were defendants.
“It is also on record that neither the state government nor Owerri North Local Government Council appealed the judgment until the time frame for appeal elapsed, making it time barred.”
Njoku said they are expecting Executive Order from court to enable them know the next line of action.
He said as peace-loving and law-abiding people, they have vowed not to take laws into their hands no matter the level of provocation.
Also speaking, Heads of Umuachonwa Descendants, Obingaya Innocent Metu and Thomas Ikpeazu Njoku said the Umauchonwa family was waiting to see whether the judiciary is no longer the hope of the common man.
In his remarks, Oha Michael Njoku and Oha Iheanyi Ekeocha maintained that the rule of law had been violated.
National Newsbreak also gathered that an Owerri High Court presided over by Justice L. A Azuoma on November 4, 2022 delivered a judgement upholding Hon. Leo Oguike as the authentic and recognized President-General of Orji Development Union.
One Nze Ihejieto Ken Chukwuma had laid claim to the position of President-General of the union.
According to two indigenes of the community, Eugene Eke and Ken Ofoha, the latest judgment brought to an end “the shameless desperation of the handpicked purported President-General who we all know is a stooge positioned by Eze Innocent Opara to do his bidding against the wish of the community whose patrimony is allegedly abused, siphoned and pocketed with careless abandon’.
When contacted on telephone on Sunday, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Simon Ebegbulem promised to get back to our reporter after finding out the true position from ‘our people’.
The chairman of ISAMATA, Emmanuel Ezeanochie and Sole Administrator of Owerri North Local Government Council, Tony Umezurike could not be reached as their phones rang repeatedly without response.