Umueje community in Ayamelum local government area, Anambra State has offered a portion of the community land to Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra state to enable the institution establish its branch in the area.
The traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Elias Nneli disclosed this shortly after a court session at the Federal High Court, Awka, that struck out a case brought to it by one of the community’s illustrious son, Mr. Benson Amaluche.
Nneli explained that the land was given to the institution to put up its annex agricultural faculty and to create job opportunities for the teeming youths in the area.
The Nation learnt that Chief Amaluche had brought a case before the court to stop the community giving the land to the school management, alleging that the school should be paying royalty to the community which the traditional ruler and his cabinet kicked against.
Amuluche reportedly claimed that land ownership in the community was on communal basis, while the constitution, right from inception, did not give land to visitors on royalty.
But Nneli urged the plaintiff to have a rethink and join hands with the leadership of the community in bringing the desired development into the community
Reacting to the judgement, Counsel to the community, Barr. Lawrence Obiora, said the plaintiff, Mr. Benson Amaluche, was looking for a declaration that they were the owners of the land that was given to the University.
Obiora said the contention of the community had been that the case was a land matter bothering on a declaration of title to land and that the court found out it has no legal jurisdiction to handle the matter and that the parties involved should meet the appropriate court.
Confirming the handing over of the land to UNIZIK in 2020, President General of the community, Chief Felix Chidube argued that the judgement favoured the community and would bring desired partnership the community had wanted with the institution.
He said, “the land was given in consonant with the laws of Umueje community. Some communities have been looking for this opportunity and we saw it as a privilege to give out our community land to the institution. The court struck out the suit and we are very happy.”
The Prosecuting Counsel however refused to comment on the matter when he was approached, immediately after the court session.