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Land Gabbing: Lawyer Accuses MASSOB Leader Of Engaging In Smear Campaign In Imo

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A lawyer, Chris Ahumibe has accused Leader of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Ralphael Uwazuruike of resorting to a campaign of calumny in order to divert attention from his land grabbing activities.

Ahumibe regretted that Uwazuruike chose to rope in the Catholic Church and the Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma who have no hand in the legal battle to recover a land which the MASSOB leader coveted.

In a statement made available to Newsmen, Ahumibe disclosed that in 2015 some 15 men who claimed to be acting at the behest of the MASSOB leader broke into Plot No. 26 Housing Area G in New Owerri owned by one Chigoziri Elekwachi.

The lawyer added that the men were arrested and detained by the police but later released on the intervention of Uwazuruike.

According to Ahumibe, Uwazuruike thereafter rebuffed police invitation to assist with investigation since the men claimed they trespassed into the land on his instruction.

He further informed that Uwazuruike not only made calls threatening the life of Arch Amugo Ugoji, the caretaker of the property but also went ahead to build on the land.

Ahumibe disclosed that Elekwachi had to resort to the use of lawful means to resist the land grabbing and defend the brazen and wanton act of Uwazuruike including the demolition of the property wrongly built on his land.

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He equally disclosed that Uwazuruike failed to appear in court to defend himself in the Suit No. HOW/616/2016 necessitating the plaintiff to seek leave of court to prove his case in 2018 two years after the suit and the necessary processes had been filed and served Uwazuruike through substituted service since he made it impossible for the bailiff to serve him in person.

He stated that the case was thereafter adjourned and hearing notice ordered to be served on the defendant to enable him to enter defence, adding that the parties were given 21 days to file final addresses and serve each other.

Ahumibe disclosed that the court delivered judgement in favour of the plaintiff on November 15, 2018 which was equally served on Uwazuruike through substituted means.

The lawyer said counsel to Uwazuruike on May 31, 2019, about one year after the court judgement filed the first process in the matter praying the court to set aside its judgement.

According to him, the court declined to set aside its judgement on July 14, 2021 paving way for the plaintiff to apply to levy execution, which the court granted on March 6, 2022.

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Ahumibe further informed that the defendant purportedly approached the Court of Appeal on May 5, 2023, two years after the lower court refused to set aside its jjudgement.

Counsel for the plaintiff therefore submitted that neither the Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Archdiocese nor Gov Uzodimma has any interest in the matter.

He regretted that Uwazuruike who claims to be a lawyer could have the effontery to dismiss the judgement of a High Court as jankara and oluwole.

He disclosed that his client had taken possession of his land upon the execution of court judgement by the chief bailiff of the High Court on March 6, 2022.

Uwazuruike had taken to the social media to condemn the involvement of the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri and the governor in the matter.

The MASSOB leader disclosed that at a point the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri called him on phone while Gov. Uzodimma sent a former National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Maurice Iwu to mediate on the matter.

He further claimed to have appealed the judgement of the High Court but declined to say the date he approached the Appellate Court and why he neglected the court matter for about two until judgement was entered on the matter.

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