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Nigeria-Biafra Spectra: Property Rights Clash with Nigerian Army in Enugu

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A recent petition from the Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN) to the Minister of Defence, Muhammed Badaru, has brought to light a heated property dispute involving the Nigerian Army’s 82 Division in Enugu. The petition, filed on behalf of citizen Mr. Nana Ogbodo, highlights alleged threats by the army to forcefully and unlawfully take over Ogbodo’s property at No.7, Abakaliki Lane, GRA, Enugu.

CRRAN claims that despite ongoing investigations by the Chief of Army Staff’s office, the 82 Division issued a notice to vacate the property to Ogbodo and his tenant, Mrs. Roseline Okoye. The army has not provided any title documents proving ownership of the property, instead citing it as part of properties held during the civil war.

In response, Ogbodo furnished the army with all relevant documents, including a Certificate of Occupancy granted by the state government in January 2022. However, the army maintains its claim without showing legal proof of ownership, continuing to assert that the property was captured during the civil war.

The group emphasized the importance of upholding the rule of law and criticized the army’s actions as an act of insubordination, particularly noting Major H.Y. Shehu’s letter directing Mrs. Okoye to vacate the property.

Contrary to CRRAN’s claims, the Nigerian Army asserts that the property was part of a group of properties allocated to them by the Enugu State Government after the civil war. They argue that Ogbodo’s Certificate of Occupancy is defective as it was issued without the proper revocation of the original title held by the army.

The army’s response also mentioned a previous incident involving Colonel Ugwuoke (retired) who was ejected from a property on Abakaliki Lane for attempting to acquire it without proper authorization. They claim that Ogbodo’s subsequent purchase of a portion of the land was done without the consent or approval of the army.

This dispute highlights the complex nature of property rights in post-civil war Nigeria. As investigations continue, the outcome will likely have broader implications for property ownership and the rule of law in the region.

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