Listen to article
The protracted land tussle between Abagana and Ukpo communities in Dunukofia Local Government area of Anambra State has finally been laid to rest by the Supreme Court.
The Eastern Updates reports that Supreme Court had in a unanimous judgment on Tuesday dismissed the case for lack of merit.
While delivering judgment on behalf of other judges, Justice Inyang Okoro agreed with the submission by the counsel to Ukpo community, Chief Nnamdi Ibegbu, SAN, to the effect that the case, which was struck out at the Court of Appeal be dismissed to put an end to further adjudication on the matter in any other court.
Before delivering judgment, one of the Supreme Court justices asked counsel to the Appellants if, under the 2016 Appeal Court rules, they can relist a case already struck out at the Court of Appeal. The justices, therefore, held that it would amount to abuse of court process going into the matter.
The counsel was, therefore, asked to withdraw the appeal, following which the apex court dismissed the case.
The dismissal of the case was anchored on the grounds that the Court of Appeal Rules 2016 do not empower the Appellant to bring an application to register an appeal which was earlier struck out over failure to compile and transmit records.
The Abagana, Abba and Ukpo communities’ land case had long been decided by the Supreme Court in favour of Ukpo community in an earlier judgment by the court over three years ago.
However, some litigants in Abagana and Abba communities brought up the matter in some high courts in Anambra State under different guise.
The Chief Judge, despite the earlier Supreme Court judgment, assigned the case to some judges in the state in different courts.
In about two of those cases filed by the litigants from the communities, the judges struck out the cases in favour of Ukpo community up to the level of the Court of Appeal.
In one of such judgments in a similar case assigned to the high court of Nneni Judicial division, the Abba community case was decided in favour of Ukpo community.
The Judge ruled: ‘The matter had been decided by the Supreme Court; no other court in the country has the right to adjudicate on the matter as it has already been ruled upon, no matter the guise under which it is brought to the court or being re-introduced before the court.’
In support of his ruling, the judgment had quoted the Bible saying, “if the foundation be destroyed what can the righteous do?”
The judgement by Justice Inyang Okoro of the supreme Court has now put an end to the protracted case.