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Land dispute: Court orders substituted service on Gov Ugwuanyi, Panel members



An Enugu State High Court on Monday ordered substituted service of court processes on the Administrative Panel of Inquiry looking into the land dispute in Ugwuaji community, Enugu South Local Government Area.

The applicants, Paul Anike and Chinenye Maduekwe, for themselves and on behalf of the people of Ogui Nike and Umunevo Ogui Nike community, filed a suit against the six members of the panel.

These are James Ikeyi, Godwin Ugwoke, Prof Daniel Nwachukwu, Godwin Ishiwu, Chudi Ozokolo and Robinson Odo.

Other defendants are Enugu State Governor and the Attorney General of the state.

In his ruling, Justice Cyprian Aja, ordered that the processes be served on the first to sixth respondents again at the venue provided by Ikeyi on or before Oct. 16, 2020.

Aja adjourned the matter until Nov. 24 for mention.

Earlier, the first respondent and chairman of the panel who appeared in person, Chief James Ikeyi, SAN, told the court that the panel had not been served.

Ikeyi said that he got to know about the matter through the governor who called him on phone.

”The address given to My Lord by the applicants is wrong. ‘We are currently sitting in the Justice Umezulike Hall inside the court premises. As at the date the order was made, we had not got approval for sitting accommodation.

“We appeal to be served in order to make our defence,” Okeyi said.

However, counsel to the applicants, Mr Anthony Anaenugwu, SAN, told the court that he had proof that all the respondents had been duly served with the processes.

“The processes were served in the place provided by the state government in their public service announcement for submission of memoranda at Room 2A Abuja Building Government House Enugu.

“To say that they were not served makes nonsense of the order of the court. Are we throwing out substituted service?

“The processes were served in accordance with the rules and orders of the court and if the government wants to play games with my learned friend, that is his business,” he said.

Emmanuel Acha

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