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Anambra Agency Denies Seeking Bribe from Lawyer over Disputed Property



The Chairman of Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Barrister Chike Maduekwe has denied requesting for bribe from an Onitsha-based Lawyer, Barrister Harold Ekwerekwu over the disputed property.

The Physical Planning Board Chairman said during a press conference at the Board Headquarters in Amawbia on Wednesday that neither him nor his office were involved in the alleged misconduct and undue request for inducement.

Barrister Maduekwe had accompanied a joint government task force to demolish structures considered as illegal, built on government land, near Governor’s Lodge, Onitsha, a land designated as Anambra State Judges’ Quarters.

According to him, after the exercise which makes it the fifth time, the developer in question started sponsoring media publications against his person and office, alleging that he asked him for a plot of land as inducements.

Maduekwe stressed that he had directed his lawyers to institute a petition against him before the legal practitioners’ disciplinary committee, calling on the public to disregard such publications which he described as malicious and a disrepute to the office he occupies.

While explaining that by publishing lies against him as a lawyer contravenes conduct in the practice, Maduekwe asked him to withdraw the said publication and publish a public apology or risk being served a court process in seven days.

Meanwhile, Barrister Ekwerekwu, claims that the land in question belongs to the Okposieke family of Ogbolieke village, Onitsha, Onitsha North Council Area, which automatically reverted back to the family at the expiration of a 100-year lease agreement with the Federal Government.

According to him, the land in question was subject to a lease hold of 1910 and 1945 between the Federal Government and the Okposieke family, which yielded back to the family, reversionary interest in 2009 and the Federal Government released back the said land to his family.

He revealed that the federal government released the first one on the 13th of July, 2013 and later released the other in 2019.

Despite efforts by the State Government to establish ownership by a team of security personnel, by removing structures considered as illegal for more than five times, the developer has continued to encroach on the land.

Government of Anambra State under the Ministry of Housing, had since commenced development on the site, notwithstanding the continued trespass on the land in question.

Recall that last weekend, the task force embarked on a demolition exercise of perimeter fence on the land, where government issued a directive for the arrest and prosecution of the trespasser.

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