The Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA, has withdrawn the building approval it issued in 2016 to the Chancellor of Coal City University, Mr. Chinedu Ani for erection of his residence located in Plot 5 Onoh Crescent, GRA, Enugu.
Part of the palatial residence was demolished last week by ECTDA for illegal construction on Ekulu water way and blocking of a connecting road between GRA and Enugu-Onitsha expressway.
Ani, however, alleged that the demolition of his residence was a result of personal disagreement between him and the Chairman of ECTDA, Dr Josef Onoh, whom he accused of being part of the people that sold the road and water way to him in 2015.
Ani in an interview during the demolition exercise accepted that there was a road that transverse through the area before he built on the land, but that the original owners of the estate, Rockonoh Property Company limited gave him a go ahead to close the road.
“The Onohs sold the land to me and they told me that the road was created by their father when RCC came to construct the estate and that their father dismantled the bridge before they sold to one Walter Aneke who sold to me; and before I bought the land I went to them and asked them if I should acquire this place because I remember that while I was a child there used to be a road there. The only problem is that they wanted money from me,” Ani alleged.
Investigation however revealed that the ECTDA on March 22 2021 withdrew the building approval based on sundry allegations against Ani, ranging from material discrepancies in the actual size of his plot; pending litigation on alleged default on payment for the plot and lack of evidence to support Ani’s valid title for possession of the disputed plot.
ECTDA Head of Physical Planning and Development Control, Chinedu Ozochioke in the withdrawal notice accused Ani of multiple failures to submit his title documents that would have helped the agency resolve discrepancies and petitions against his ownership of the plot.
Among documents obtained by our our Correspondent is a petition to the Enugu state Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, by one Chief Aloysius Maduka who alleged that Ani was illegally occupying his plot without full payment of N40 million that was agreed as fee for purchase of the land and which is still a subject of litigation in an Enugu state high court.
Maduka further alleged that the size of the land he sold to Ani which he (Maduka) is still owed N12 million outstanding balance was 4,081.72 square meters of land as against about one hectare of land that Ani occupied before the demolition.
“Our client’s effort to get the balance of the sum of Twelve million (N12, 000, 000) naira only, when he came down from Lagos did not yield any fruit. Our client is presently counter claiming the above sum in suit No E/21/14 between Rockonoh Property Company limited and 17 others and our client has filed a motion to join Chinedu Ani and ATCOIE limited in the said suit,” Maduka’s counsel petitioned to Governor Ugwuanyi.
In January 2021, Maduka made due his petition through a prayer to the Enugu state High Court, asking for an order to join Chinedu Ani and ATCOIE Nigeria limited as defendants because of their acquired interest and as necessary parties for the purposes of determining issues in the controversy of the disputed property.
Maduka supported his petition with an original survey plan measuring 3,052.557 square meters and a memorandum of understanding between him and Karastan Company limited that sold the land to him wherein an additional 1,029.163 square meters was also purchased from the company to form Plot 5 Onoh crescent and which brought the size of the land to 4,081.72 square meters. He also presented bank transaction details that indicated that Ani only paid him N28 million instead of the agreed N40 million land deal.
Ani had also alleged that Onoh demanded money from him over the land transaction which he said he refused, claiming also to have bought the land in dispute directly from the Onohs’ but which the available documents could not authenticate.