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Council Chairman, Traders Clash Over Demolition Of 37 Shops In Onitsha

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By Okey Maduforo Awka.

Chairman of Onitsha South local government area Chief Emeka Joseph Orji has dismissed allegations against him that he demolished over 37 make shift shops at the Bridge Head Market illegally.

Orji also debunked the allegations by the traders that there was no pre notice to them before the demolition insisting that their shops where not only illegal but without the set backs as stipulated by the law.

The Counsel to the Plank Joist Association (UPJA) Chief Clifford Iloegbune Okoye had briefed reporters in Onitsha where he accused the Chairman of pulling down the shops without pre notice adding that the local government authorities did not consider the goods of the traders that were destroyed running into millions of Naira which he alleged were affected by the demolition.

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According to the Secretary of the local government area who spoke on behalf of the Chairman Mr Paul Onuachalla contended that the traders were for warned earlier enough adding that those shops were marked for demolition before the demolition.

“It is indeed funny that a legal practitioner could take such actions without going for what we call locus Inquest which means going to see those shops himself and advising his client”

“Again before the demolition we served them with pre notice for demolition and also gave them time to remove their goods but they did nothing and even when we marked them fir demolition they went and cleaned them up and continued to do business there”

“There is what we call set backs from the main road which any one putting up. a building must observe and that is some meters from the walk way after the gutters which was not observed by the traders and their lawyer failed in his duty to go and inspect those places to see if they conformed in line with the law”

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Onuachalla noted that the traders have shops inside the market but chose to put up make shift shops on top of the walk wats and the water channels causing flooding during the rainy seasons and warned that the Council Authorities would soon embark on the demolition of more shops in the area thay are yet to observe the law guiding the construction of buildings.

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