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Traders at the New Auto Spare Parts Market, Nkpor in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, on Friday clashed with the market authorities, as a protest staged by the group became chaotic.
The Eastern Updates reports that the protesters who came under the aegis of Shopowners/Landlords in the Market, were demonstrating against the alleged attempt by the market authorities to erect some shops on top of the existing ones in the market.
They alleged that the chairman of the market, Elisius Ozokwere, had announced plans to construct more shops during their meeting and had commenced implementation without consulting them.
They carried placards with various inscriptions and matched round the market.
The leader of the protesting traders, Obiora Ofoleh, said, ‘We have been trading peacefully in the market until May 21, 2021, when the present Chairman, Elisius Umeozor, called the first meeting after he was re-elected in February 2020, only to announce to us that he had concluded arrangement to erect new shops on top of the existing shops owned by us without our consent.
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‘We protested against his unilateral decision but he was bent on executing the project. This prompted us to institute legal action against him and his executive at Idemili High Court, Ogidi.
‘Then, on the 28th of April 2022, The Court ( presided by Justice Peter Obiora of Idemili High Court) dismissed our suit, and the shop owners being dissatisfied with the judgment of the High Court, filed and served them with Notice of Appeal and a motion for Stay of execution on 29th of April.
‘On the 9th of June 2022, the case was transmitted to Appeal Court Awka with Suit No. CA/AW/155/2022 while on the 10th of June 2022, we filed a motion for Injunction and Stay of execution at the Appeal Court.
‘Surprisingly, on the 6th of September 2022, we came to the market for our daily businesses only to discover that the chairman had brought into the market, all sorts of building materials. Some workers were already working while some thugs carrying different types of weapons were with them while they were working.’
Reacting, the Vice Chairman, Ikechukwu Onyegbu, and the Financial Secretary of the Association, Chief Alexander Orji, who spoke on behalf of the Chairman, described the demonstration as the handiwork of the opposition who lost the election of the association.