Prof. Anthony Eze of the Department of Vocational Education, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka has petitioned the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) over a N14 million land purchase he transacted with Igwe Peter Uyanwa, the traditional ruler of Okwulu Community in Anambra.
Eze, who addressed a case conference of PCC, chaired by Mr Samben Nwosu, the Federal Commissioner for Anambra, in Awka on Tuesday, alleged that he was led into the transaction under false pretence.
He said Uyanwa came to him through one Osy Nwosu over the available land for sale after which he paid N11 million into the monarch’s bank account on March 21, 2016 and another three million naira to the community.
He said he was neither led to the site nor issued documents to enable him to take possession but was surprised that the same parcel of land was sold to another person who had developed it and moved in.
Eze said the two plots of land were located at Abuja Estate opposite Government House, Awka.
He said all efforts he had made for the monarch who sold the land to him to evict the intruder had been unsuccessful as the Igwe told him to go and fight for his land or give him N900, 000 to mobilise thugs to chase the developer out of the site.
He alleged that the sellers belonged to a land racketeering syndicate who sold the same parcel to different people to defraud them.
The professor said he no longer wanted the parcel of land but his money which the monarch had refused to refund after the deal went sour.
“Igwe came to my school in his convoy, told me about the land and I paid him through the bank with a caveat that I will get my money back if anything goes wrong. I dealt with him based on trust.
“I paid him N11 million and another three million naira to Nwosu and Awka people who owned the land.
“Later I was alerted that somebody was developing the place which I informed Igwe but he said I should go and fight for my land.
“I later discovered that these same people sold the land to the person developing it. Instead of telling us who the rightful owner is, he said I should give him N900, 000 to mobilise thugs,” Eze said.
He said Uyanwa gave him two allocation papers belonging to Mr Ralph Okeke and Mr Ezekiel Obalim (now late) with which be prepared the land documents in which the monarch signed as a witness.
He said he later discovered that the two persons did not own any parcel in Abuja Estate and that as he did not have business with them on the matter, he wanted the monarch to refund his money.
“I have asked him to refund me my money to no avail, notable Anambra monarchs have intervened but he has refused to give me my money,” Eze said.
On his part, Uyanwa admitted that there was a transaction on land between him and Eze on land and that the money was paid into his account.
He said he was only a middleman between Eze and the two owners of the parcels of land who actually sold them and that he transferred the money paid into his account to the land ownrts,
He said the original title documents of the land were handed over to Eze after he made payment and that he took possession afterward.
He denied that he demanded N900, 000 from Eze to mobilise thugs as there was no need for such.
The monarch told the commission that the professor had dragged him to the police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the shrine and traditional rulers over the matter in a bid to scandalise him.
He said he had no issue with Eze and that he should go to the real sellers of the land and the person who built on it to possess his land.
“Yes, I know Prof. Eze and he paid money into my bank account for two plots of land because I am the President-General of Abuja Estate Welfare Association, I transferred the money to the people who were allotted the land as payment.
“I have given him the original title documents and they have not been proven to be fake, he has the papers and has taken possession of the land .
“Let me add here that Prof. Eze is well known to me but he is out to scandalise my name because the person who contested the Igwe (stool) with me is using him, there is no place he has not taken me to,” he said.
In his ruling, Nwosu, the Commissioner, said all those mentioned in the matter, including the occupant of the land, would be summoned to state their role in the matter.
He frowned at the high level of land matters in Anambra, including those involving monarchs, and called for all to be just in their dealing with others.
He said the person occupying the property at the moment was irrelevant and promised that every necessary investigation would be made to unravel what transpired and who the true owner of the plots of land in question was.
Nwosu adjourned the case conference on the matter until Sept. 2.
Edited by Chukwudi Ekezie