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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Court Yet To Decide FUTO, Host Communities’ Suit



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The Sole Attorney of the host communities of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, (FUTO), Estate Surveyor Sam Anokam says the substantive suit filed by the host communities against FUTO is yet to be decided.

He disclosed this on Tuesday in Owerri, Imo state capital, while reacting to the judgement by Justice K. k. Orjiakor of Imo State High Court to the effect that FUTO had floored Anokam and others in a six-year-old land grabbing case between the institution and the land owners.

He said, “The way the story came that I have been defeated I say the substantive suit in the matter has not been heard at all. So there is no defeat yet.”

Chronicling what has transpired between the host communities and FUTO since the former made him their spokesman over their land in 2018, Anokam maintained that “an acquisition of land cannot be concluded unless compensation is paid.”

He stated that the flaw that led to the court judgement had been rectified within two days, signalling the continuation of the matter.

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The surveyor noted, “So to begin to rejoice over the issue of the court striking out our suit because of the fact that we did not list the names of the plaintiffs shows there is mediocrity in the institution’s administration.
It was on the 28th April that the ruling came. On the 30th April we went back to court listing the names of the plaintiffs.

“The court ruled on preliminary objections that we have no cause of action.
“Our cause of action is you have been destroying our things without compensation,” he stated.

While vowing to follow due process to conclude the matter, the landowners’ advocate explained that he has been steadfast in carryng out his advocacy.

He maintained that it is FUTO that has been reneging on the series of agreements reached with either the host communities or with the Federal Government on the way forward.

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He gave details of the processes both the landlords and the institution had gone through cutting across many administrations in the state, in the quest to settle the matter amicably, but FUTO reneged in all of them.

‘I have never encouraged our people to go on rampage; use violence, attack anybody. No! No! No! This matter is simple. It has even been resolved. But there has been propaganda to create an impression that it is not proper.

“Now, the Federal Government says it wants to ensure peace by expressing readiness to implement the agreement, to the extent that the host communities have accepted to withdraw their suit in court and I accepted too.”

He, therefore, maintained that “Sam Anokam has not been defeated, floored, or disgraced in the matter in court between the host communities of FUTO, that I have acted as Attorney to FUTO communities.”

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