Nsumide/Ada Oru Land Dispute: Counsels Address Court In Pre-trial Conference As Judge Says Need To Make Progress

Counsels representing clients in Nsumide/Ada Oru land dispute took part in pretrial conference on Thursday and addressed the Port-Harcourt High Court presided by Hon. Justice S.H. Aprioku.

Before they addressed the court, the presiding judge, Hon. Justice Aprioku, said nothing should delay the conference adding that there was need to make progress in the case.

There are eight sets of defendants and four out of nine counsels had addressed the court when it was adjourned.

The counsel representing claimants, Collins Dike, told the court that he would call two witnesses and rely on 10 documents saying that he had filed survey plan concerning the disputed land.

The counsel for first set of defendants, Nwakamma Alex Nwokah, who also addressed the court said she was relying on pleadings she had earlier made and said that judgement was in her favour when the matter had gone for adjudication before the Ogbakor Ikwerre Council.

Addressing the court, counsel for the second set of defendants, Darlington Omereji, told the court about pleadings he was relying on and number of witnesses saying that his clients had bought the land from third set of defendants who are from the same community as the claimants.

He also told the court he had 10 documents he would rely on including survey plan concerning the land in dispute.

Omereji also said he had raised two issues for determination in his pretrial paper.

On his part, the counsel representing the third set of defendants, Alex Igwe, told the court he had a survey plan.

The counsel also said he had one witness who was “unfortunately” dead.

The presiding judge adjourned the pretrial conference to 15 February for further conference.

Before now there had been 10 sets of defendants but the presiding judge at a recent hearing had told claimants’ counsel to serve a notice of discontinuance for two sets of defendants who were leaving the case. They were the sixth and ninth sets of defendants and was in line with instruction given by the claimants to the counsel.

At the time, the judge said that the counsel should serve the notice on all the parties.  

The disputed land is on Tam David West Boulevard, a stretch of road from the Port-Harcourt International Airport Roundabout to the Obiri Ikwerre Interchange.

The claimants include Mr Fabulous Amaewhule, Mr Oluchukwu Amaewhule and Mr Ezihuo Opara for themselves and as representatives of Mbodo Community, Aluu in Ikwere Local Government Area against the eight sets of defendants.

Counsel for second set of defendants, Darlington Omereji, had previously said the case was filed against first set of defendants but his clients applied to join the suit when they heard about the case saying that his clients bought their part of the land from Omuchinwo Group of Families who are from same community as claimants.


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