By Douglas Okoro
Abakaliki – Some indigenes of Umuezoka, Umuoghara and Okeleru communities in Ezza North local government area of Ebonyi have dragged Ebonyi Government to court demanding compensation for lands acquired for airport project.
The court action is contained in a suit filed at the Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki with suit number FHC/AI/82/19 by Messrs Christopher Eze, Stephen Okeh, Celestine Chukwu, Sunday Igwe and Emeka Igwe for themselves and other victims
The indigenes are praying the court to make a declaratory order urging Ebonyi Government to pay compensation in respect of all the parcels of lands acquired from the people, buildings and farmlands destroyed for the airport project.
The state government under Gov Dave Umahi acquired massive hectares of land from Ezza North and Ezza South local government areas for construction of Ebonyi International Airport.
Dr Gerald Abonyi, counsel to the plaintiffs told the court presided by Mrs Phoebe Ayua that the matter was brought under the fundamental human rights as enshrined in the constitution.
He told the court that the plaintiffs were not given adequate notice by the Ebonyi government before the lands were expropriated contrary to the provisions of the Land Use Act of 1978.
Abonyi said that his clients were seeking among other reliefs that the court compel the government to stop further demolitions and expropriation of the people’s indigenous homes and farmlands.
However, the absence of the legal team of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Ebonyi and Speaker, Ebonyi House of Assembly who are respondents to the suit compelled the court to adjourn to Nov 11.
“This matter is adjourned to Monday, Nov 11 to enable the defendants to file in their response,” Ayua said.
Meanwhile, counsel to the plaintiffs while addressing journalists said that the court remained the last hope of the oppressed and noted that the plaintiffs were in court to seek redress.