Alleged Trespass; ANLI Mining To Pay Compensation To Affected Families

By Celestine Okeh, Abakaliki

Ebonyi state Government has taken decision on the petition of malicious damage and conduct likely to cause breach of peace against Anli Mining Investment Ltd, written on behalf of Oko Uche Okoro paternal family of Ezi Akani Ukpa, by their solicitor Elder Amanda U. Agha.
Delivering the position of Government on the matter, the permanent secretary, ministry of Internal Security border peace and Conflict resolution, Barr Ogbonnaya Otta, said, the position of Government was based on the facts presented by the parties to the petition,  the Essa judgement, the available evidence, independent investigations, and inquires, inspection of the disputed area and thus, presented following findings;

"That the fact of the matter is the struggle for ownership of a parcel of land unlawfully trespassed by Anli Mining investment Ltd.

"That Nde Oko Uche Okoro is one out the five paternal families in Ezi Akani compound though were of same kindred with Nde Nnachi Azu Egwu prior to their separation in 2016.

"That each of the five families have their separate land,though there are also joint communal lands.

"That it was established that Okoro Uche Okoro paternal family owns the economic trees and farm lands on the area in dispute.

"That upon the trespass, Oko Uche Okoro made several attempts to reach the company to no avail, including placing of a traditional injunction (Omunkwu) to restrain them from further encroachment in the land.
"That the intervention of Prof Henry Urochukwu was facilitated by Ezi Akani Compound and his resolution was earlier accepted by both parties as the Stakeholder of the two side endorsed his report.

The permanent secretary revealed that the ministry after careful consideration of the findings above, came up with the following resolutions;
"Uphold the decision of Ehugbo ruling council for both the complainants Ndi Oko Uche Okoro and the defendants, Ezi Akani to jointly enjoy the legacy compensation to the two parties with regards to area in dispute should be in the ratio of 50:50 ie 50% to Nde Oko Uche Okoro family and 50% to Ezi Akani compound, having regards to the fact that Nde Oko Uche Okoro started the entire process and also had the crops and trees that were affected by the trespass by ANLI MINING INVESTMENT.

"That in the event of the company,ANLI Mining Investment Ltd or any other Mining Company intends to embark on excavation on the trepassed area, payments accruing to land owners should  also be shared on the above stipulated ratio.

"That ANLI Mining Investment Ltd should proceed with the negotiation of compensation to the parties in consideration of N50 Million Naira demanded with at least five(5) representatives of Nde Okoro Uche Okoro and five (5) others from Ezi Akani Compound.

"That the report of negotiation payment of compensation should be made available to government through His Ministry to enable government conclude action on the matter.

"That these decisions are made in full cognizance of the need to maintain peaceful co-existence between the parties
in particular, ANLI Mining Investment Ltd and Ukpa community in general".

In their acceptance speaches, the chairman of Ezi Akani Development union, Mr okpani Frank  and the a stakeholder from oko uche okoro family, Mr Nelson Agha expressed gratitude to the Governor of Ebonyi state, Engr Chief David Umahi and the ministry for prompt intervention that has averted crisis in the area and expressed their resolve to abide by the government position on the matter.

Recall that on the 3rd September,2021, Ebonyi State Government received a petition written on behalf of Oko Uche Okoro paternal family of Ezi Akani Ukpa, by their solicitor Elder Amanda U. Agha titled “Complaint of malicious damage and conduct likely to cause breach of peace against Anli Mining Investment Ltd" Government also received another petition from Nde Nnachi Egwu family dated 14th September,2021 through their counsel Chief S.O Nkaa Esq. with the title “Complaint of illegal demand for payment of compensation against Nde Oko UJche Okoro Paternal family. The two petitions raised claims and counter claims on the ownership of the land which the ministry moved and resolved.

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