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Court dismisses N500m land suit against Nigerian Breweries

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By Chuks Eke

A High Court sitting at Mgbidi in Oru Judiicial Division of Imo state, prrsided over by His Lordship, Justice Onyedikachi has dismissed a N500 million land suit instituted by an indigenes of Awo-Omamma, Chijioke. Nwadika against the Nigerian Breweries Plc..

The claiimant, Chijioke Nwadika, through his counsel, Uneze Esq. had dragged the Nigerian Breweries Plc to the court asking it to declare that the entire Oma Ogbejelem farm land situate at Awo-Omamma, Imo state where Nigeriian Breweries constructed it’s drainage for waste disposal at its Awo-Omamma Breweries Plant belong to him and his family.

The claimant also prayed the court to order Nigerian Breweries Plc to remove the drainage system from the land and pay the sum of N500 million as damages for unpaid royalty, and destruction of the family’s economic trees as a result of the disposal of wastes through the drainage system that runs through the claimant’s farm land as claimed.

The claimant therefore urged the court through his submission to grant him the reliefs.

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But in his own submission, counsel to the defendant, Nigerian Breweries Plc. Orunkoya Esq. vehemently challenged the claims of the claimant and urged the court to dismiss the suit on grounds that the claimant failed to prove with emperical evidence the ownership of the land where the Nigerian Breweries is situate or any part of it where the drainage system of the Nigerian Breweries passed.

Orunkoya contended that the claim of Mr. Chijioje Nwadika is predicated on title, hence the onus lies on him to prove ownership of the land before he can be entitled to any other relief or claim to the damages connected to the land.

Orunkoya further informed the court that besides Nwadika’s claim was statute barred as the entire suit was centered on a contract he purported his father had with Nigerian Breweries in 1983, whereas this action was instituted in 2019 in fragrant breach of limitation of Action Laws that requires actions founded on breach of contract to be instituted within six years.

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In his judgement shortly after considering the arguments of Damian Uneze Esq. for Nwadika, the claimant and Dr. A.A. Orunkoya Esq. for Nigerian Breweries, the defendant, Justice Onyedikachi dismissed the suit in favour of the Nigerian Breweries Plc on the ground that the claimant does not have the right of possession of the land.

Describing the court decision as an erudite judgement, Orunkoya told newsmen within the court premises that the judgement has further rekindled the hope of investors and corporate organizations to invest in rural communities.

Orunkoya further stated that private companies are usually sued by unscrupulous persons in their host communities thereby discouraging investors.

He noted that the likes of Nwadika’s suit was capable of frustrating the continuous existence of the Nigerian Breweries Plc in Awo-Omamma but because the claims lack merit, the court appreciated the issues of law that were canvassed as a defence and entered judgement in favour of Nigerian Breweries by dismissing this suit.

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