Landowners in Otu-Umuoboji-Umuorie community of Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo state, have accused the Owerri Capital Development Authority of alleged land grabbing and illegal demolition of their property.
The landowners came out in their numbers in a peaceful protest against the actions of the OCDA, who allegedly destroyed properties both still under construction and completed, worth millions of Naira.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions, they called on the Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha to quickly intervene to prevent any breakdown of law and order in the state.
Uratta-Egbu estate residents expressed disappointment in the actions of the OCDA whom they claimed earlier authorised the erection of buildings in the area.
They insisted that the demolition exercise by the management of the Owerri Capital Development Authority is a calculated attempt to snatch their lands illegally without recourse to due process.
The residents also said the land was bought legally with all valid documents including approval from the same authority claiming to be sent by the government.
According to them, there has been deliberate extortion from landowners who also maintained that some other properties were left untouched once a certain sum of money is paid as kickback to the authority.
Meanwhile, the management of the Owerri Capital Development Authority responding to these allegations said the accusations by the landowners in the area are untrue.
The General Manager of OCDA Chidiebere Nwaoga maintained that the land where the acclaimed landowners were erecting their property, belongs to the government.
He added that prior to that time, the area had been mapped out for schools, hospitals and other state projects, asserting that no amount of blackmail or rejection can stop the authority from carrying out its primary responsibility.
The victims have however called on the Governor Okorocha to help them reclaim their land as they insist the OCDA has been acting in isolation from the government.