Aboh Court Affirms Umuebo Ownership Of Asioka Land
The members of Umuebo town, Umuochi-Utchi in Nadokwa East Local Government Area, Delta State, were in a frenzy of celebration recently as the Customary Court, Aboh, held that they are the owners of the land called Asioka land.
The land, which is situated at Mmili-Uku Road, Umudie, Umuochi, has been used and sometimes leased out to farmers as the need arises, from time immemorial.
However, in 2019, the people of Umudie Quarters in Umuochi-Utchi dragged the owners, Umuebo people, to the court, claiming ownership of the parcel of land.
They also claimed the sum of N500, 000 being general damages for trespass on the land sometime in 2017 and 2018.
When the case came up for hearing, the plaintiffs called three witnesses, in addition to another, who was summoned by the court, while the defendants also called three.
The defendants, who were declared owners of the land told the court that they allowed the plaintiffs access to the land to bury one of their deceased ruler and to farm before they started laying claims to it.`
According to a defence witness (DW1), His Highness, Nzekwe Isicheli Richard, who is the Okpala of Umuebo, the land belonged to Umuebo people but both the plaintiffs and defendants were farming on the land, adding that it was the defendants that gave a space in the land to the plaintiffs to bury their late king, Ogwu.
Delivering judgment in the case, the Chairman of the Court, Mr. A. I. Odigwe and supported P.C.O Ejeh, held that the people of Umuebo had proved their ownership of the land, adding that the Asioka land was not an Onini-Nze (Royal Cemetery) as claimed by the Umudie people.
The court also explained that the people of Umuebo proved their title to the land by traditional history and evidence and awarded a cost of N30, 000 against the plaintiffs and in favour of the defendants.
The plaintiffs are Chief Ikechukwu Asama, Chief Izuchukwu Enebeli for themselves and as representatives of Umudie Quarters while the defendants are Francis Ogwuazor, Oyibo Ewnnor, Ifeanyi Ogwuazor, Emeke Nwosa and Ifeanyi Dibia for themselves and as representatives of Umuebo town.