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Wife Of Late Enugu Elder Statesman, Ujam Cries Over Alleged Move By Government To Seize Family Property

Uchenwa Ujam

Lady Uchenwa Ujam, the widow of the late Chief Ugwu Nwafor Ujam, one of the elder statesmen in Enugu State, has cried out for help.

She cried out over attempts by the state government through the Enugu North council area to take her husband’s property at Ogbete Main Market.

According to her, she has been denied access to the property at the market without any reason given by the government.

Lady Ujam told SaharaReporters that that she had visited the office of the Chairman of the Enugu North Council several to get possession of the property measured 50ft by 50ft but met a brick wall.

The former lecturer at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu also said that the leadership of Ogbete Main Market had not helped matters as no one was ready to show her the property at the market.

The ex-staff member of Anambra State Broadcasting Service (ABS), now Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS), disclosed that she was deceived by the immediate-past administration of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi into believing that she would get back the property after the development of the market.

She said, “I was deceived by the immediate-past administration of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi that the entire market will be developed only to find out that my husband’s 50ft by 50ft land allocation will be no more. We were asked to pay N5.7m per stall.

“I do not care about the number of stalls but what I am seeking is our own 50ft by 50ft land genuinely allocated to my husband in 1987. Show me my space since the lock-up shops have been completed.”
Recalling the role her husband played in building the ‘Wawa Land,’ the widow regretted the injustice being meted out to her family.

Lady Ujam also recalled that her husband on September 12, 2012, wrote to the Executive Chairman of Enugu North Local Government Council, requesting the removal of some traders who had illegally occupied and refused to vacate the frontage area allocated to him.

“It is our intention to erect a befitting edifice on that land to improve the environmental/sanitary condition of the area, and we do not intend to take laws into our hands,” the letter read.

Before it, she said an approval of demonstration base at the market dated December 17, 1987 and signed by Engr. T. N. Odenigbo, then-Deputy Town Engineer for the Sole Administrator for Enugu Local Government, was given to her husband.

“My question is: am I paying for the space of 50ft by 50ft or for a stall and how many stalls make up my space of land?

“I want to know whether the N5.2m is for my husband’s 50ft by 50ft. Again, let the OMMATA chairman give me the dimension of what the N5.2m is paying for, that is the size of the stall,” she asked.

She insisted that the portion of land given to her husband measuring 50ft by 50ft should be shown to her.

“The management of Ogbete Market should give me access to the land that was given to my husband. I was shocked that each time I asked about the portion, I was told to go and pay.

“The space given to my husband was classified as open space and was fenced in 1987 with a gate with shanty structures by people that mill corn and other grains. The land should be shown to me,” the widow said.

Displaying various documents attesting to the authenticity of the allocation, Lady Ujam called on the state governor, Dr Peter Mbah and other relevant authorities to help her have access to her husband’s property at Ogbete market, noting that justice delayed is justice denied.

When contacted, the President of Ogbete Market, Stephen Aniagu, said it was not true that Lady Ujam was being denied access to her husband’s property, stressing that the widow had not complied with the agreement entered with the developer by paying the required fee of N5.2m per stall.

“The Lady in question hails from my community and I am also the National President of Awkunanaw Welfare Association. I hold her in high esteem. It behoves me to protect my sister. I have told her what to do. I even met one of her children and explained to him. I have the documents to support my claims,” Aniagu said.

Meanwhile, efforts to get the reaction of the Chairman of Enugu North Local Government Council, Hon. Emeka Onuze were not successful as he did not answer his calls nor reply to the text message sent to his mobile line.


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