By Okey Maduforo
The ancient Onitsha Town in Anambra state has issued a Notice To Quit it’s ancestry land to the Nigerian Correction Center located in the area.
The said land was given to the then Nigerian Prison Services in the year 1910 for a duration of ninety nine years which according to the town has expired.
It also ordered the Correction Center to stop fort with the acquisition and occupation of more land belonging to Umudei quarters Iyiawu quarters, Okposi Eke section of Ogboli Eke quarters which also belong to the town.
According to a release signed by the Chief Of Staff Chief Osita Anibnu Ike Akunwani the Onitsha Traditional Council (Ime Obi) said ;
“Ime Obi calls for return of lands illegally occupied by Nigeria Correctional Services”
“Onitsha, July 14, 2023The Onitsha Traditional Council (Ime Obi) is insisting that the Nigeria Correctional Services should put a stop to its appropriation of parcels of land belonging to Onitsha families, and that these should revert to the owners the parcels of land, properties of the Umudei quarters, lylawu quarters, and Okposi Eke section of Ogboli Eke quarters are in the Akpaka area of Onitsha”
“Some facilities of the correctional services agency are located on them”
“Ime Obi stated that despite the expiration of a lease of agreement in respect of the parcels of land, which hitherto were used as farmlands by the Onitsha families, the Nigeria Correctional Services has continued to lay claim to them. Chief Osita AnionwuIke Akatakwuani/Chief of Staff, Ime Obi, explained that “by a lease agreement signed by the Obi of Onitsha acting for and on behalf of the chiefs of Onitsha with the Colonial Government dated July 22, 1910, Onitsha leased the land to the Colonial Government for a term of 99 years with no renewal clause”
Anionwu added, ” with the expiration of the lease in 2009, the Nigeria Correctional Services took unilateral action to scuttle the non-renewal of the 1910 lease agreement, a development which is unacceptable to the Onitsha community.”
“The Onitsha Traditional Council observed that beyond the occupation of the parcels of land for which the lease agreement had expired, the Nigeria”
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“Correctional Services has gone ahead to encroach on adjoining parcels of land including that which has been set aside for the National Maritime Institute, a federal government agency under the Nnamdi Azikiwe University. It called on the correctional agency to remove all structures placed on these lands. including reestablishing the thoroughfares to the various Onitsha shrines in the vicinity”