Our attention has been drawn to a publication by Sahara Reporters and the Sun Newspapers credited to some unscrupulous individuals and elements who claim to represent Umuona and Umuotube in Chokota community as well as Umuogodo community all of Igboh Etche in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, wherein they alleged Justice Augusta Kingsley Chuku of the High Court of Rivers State as being enmeshed in allegations of gross judicial misconduct, bias, and abuse of court process and Dr. Abasiubong Udofia of Livingstone Estates Ltd as being a land grabber who forcefully took over portions of land belonging to the different communities.
We want to put the record straight to avoid innocent members of the public being misled and deceived:
The people that sent and sponsored that publication do not in any way represent the Chiefs, Elders, Families and People of Chokota and Umuogodo Communities in Igbo-Etche that Dr. Abasiubong Udofia of Livingstone Estate Limited bought land from between 2005 to 2007, and cannot, therefore, speak on their behalf.
That the talked about petition never emanated from the Chiefs, Elders, Families and People of Chokota and Umuogodo Communities in Igbo-Etche but a fabrication by the group of land grabbers to distort the due course of justice which is their stock in trade.
That Dr. Abasiubong Udofia of Livingstone Estate Limited bought land from between 2005 to 2007 from the listed families in Chokota and the Umuogodo community, and he is not a land grabber as alleged by this gang of land grabbers in their publication.
That these are the families that Livingstone Estate Ltd bought land from in Chokota for the records: Umualiga Family, Umunwatuka Family, Umuoriji Family, Chief Stephen Anele Family, Ogbonna Family, Simeon Egbegbu Family, Anaele Family, Nweke Family, Nwankwo Family, Umuokwarawom larger Family. Livingstone further bought land with the whole of Umuogodo Community.
That the community is fully aware that after due consummation of the Deed of Conveyance with the families in Chokota and Umuogodo community, that Livingstone Estates Ltd applied to the Rivers State Government and was granted Certificate of Occupancy in 2008 with respect to the two vast areas of land, namely: the land measuring approximately 29.60 Hectares and registered as Number 86, Page 86 in Volume 312 at the Lands Registry in Port Harcourt located at Chokota community in Igboh Etche; as well as the land measuring approximately 49.793 Hectares of land registered as Number 87,Page 87 in Volume 312 at the Lands Registry in Port Harcourt located at Umuogodo community in Igbo Etche both in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.
That Dr. Abasiubong Udofia and the Livingstone Estates Limited immediately took possession of the vast land and commenced improvements thereon. Dr .Abasiubong Udofia and Livingstone Estates Ltd also established a scholarship scheme for indigenes of the different families in Chokota as well as indigenes of Umuogodo community. The scholarship scheme has trained over 50 youths from these two communities in Igboh Etche. Dr Udofia also provides cow, rice, groundnut oil, etc., to these individual families and the Umuogodo community every year during the Christmas period for the past 15 years. Apart from the scholarship scheme, Dr. Abasiubong Udofia and Livingstone Estates Limited also embarked on several other humanitarian activities aimed at alleviating the poor conditions and sufferings of widows, orphans, the elderly, the less privileged, amongst others in the affected communities
That sometimes in September 2019, almost after fourteen (14) years the whole of our families in Chokota and Umuogodo that Messr Livingstone bought land from were surprised to see Chief Kemakolam Nwanuo leading a few dishonorable and unscrupulous elements in our different families and ganging up with other outside collaborators to forcefully enter into the lawfully acquired land belonging to Dr. Udofia and Livingstone Estates Ltd, destroyed all the existing landmarks, destroyed the structures put up in the property, destroyed the fence and other demarcation in the property. These land grabbers went ahead to partition the large vast land into plots and commenced selling of the land to members of the public at ridiculously low prices. Before doing so, these professional land grabbers in connivance with the Egwi Customary Court, a court that lacks the requisite jurisdiction, procured a kangaroo court order with which they entered the land to commence the brigandage and wanton destruction of existing structures on the land and this is their repeated stock in trade and style.
That we are fully aware that in order to recover his lawfully acquired land, Dr. Abasiubong Udofia and Livingstone Estates Limited have gone to the High Court of Rivers State and sued for Declaration of Title to land, Injunction and Damages for Trespass against these known land grabbers. The matter is presently in court in suit N0. PHC/3862/2019 Between Livingstone Estates Ltd Vs Chief Kemakolam Nwanuo & 18 ors and the case is being handled by a seasoned and incorruptible judge of the Rivers State Judiciary and one that we have witness to be among of the finest.
That we the Chiefs, Elders, families and people of Chokota and Umuogodo Communities in Igbo-Etche that Dr. Abasiubong Udofia and Livingstone Estates Limited bought land from have gone to court to witness as to the lawful acquisition of the portions of land by Dr. Udofia and Livingstone Estates Ltd. We have it on good authority that these land grabbers have used all manner of means to reach out to the judge for her to compromise justice on the matter.
That we are fully aware that there were court orders from the High Court restraining both parties from entering the land and that was flagrantly being disobeyed by this group of land grabbers despite the several warning by the Judge which must have activated the accelerated hearing of the case as is today.
That the claims as published in the newspapers are spurious, making publications all over the media trying to impugn and bring the name of this incorruptible judge to disrepute.
Therefore, we thus refute the publication made by Sahara Reporters and Sun Newspapers and to state that the Umuotube and Umuogodo communities did not write any petition against Justice A.U. Kingsley-Chuku or any other Judge of the Rivers State Judiciary, and we did not authorize any person whatsoever named to write petition against anybody on our behalf. The Etche Local Government and the Rivers State Government are hereby called upon to take drastic measures to checkmate these undesirable elements bringing the name of the Etche Ethnic Nationality and Rivers State into disrepute.
The general public is hereby put on Notice!
CHIEF BENJAMIN NWAKA
Ochimba of Imeh&
Chief of Umuogodo Community
CHIEF ROWLAND NWAKA
For: Umuogodo Community
ELDER MATHIAS ANELE
Head of the Umualiga family Umuotube
For: Umualiga family Umuotube
Chokota Igboh Etche
For: Umuokwarawom family
For: Umunwatuka family Umuotube Chokota
ELDER PROMISE NWANKWO
Head of the Nwankwo family Umuona Chokota