Posted by News Express | 14 October 2012 | 9,768 times
Popular Nollywood actor and MTN Brand Ambassador, Osuofia (real name Nkem Owoh) is in the eye of the storm for allegedly demolishing the house being built by a widow, Mrs. Gloria Ayogu, in Enugu, South East Nigeria.
The widow, who has sent a petition to the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, is accusing Owoh of having demolished the house in the night of September 30, 2012.
Already, the National Human Rights Commission and the Heart to Heart Widows Foundation, an NGO managed by Barrister Ugoeze Udemezue, have waded into the matter, vowing to bring the actor to justice.
Below are excerpts from the petition, a copy of which was obtained by News Express:
“I woke up in the morning of Monday October 1, 2012 only to hear that a house I am building to provide shelter for my little children at Plot 11 Emeheluaku Layout, Trans Ekulu, Enugu, has been destroyed by Mr Nkem Owoh (also known as Osuofia) and his agents.
“Like thieves, they came at night to rob me of the only possession I am saving to be home for my children in the future. When neighbours called me to give me this information, I thought it was not true but on getting to the site, my heart broke as I saw my labours and toils and savings and sacrifices of several years completely destroyed by a man who have for sometime been persuading me to part with the said plot of land.
“My encounter with Mr Nkem Owoh began shortly after my husband, Mr Ben Ayogu, died in December, 2004, just months after we purchased this plot of land. Being a teacher, I had saved with my husband to buy this particular plot of land and we were already making plans to build on it when the cold hands of death stole him from me, leaving me to look after our very little children, the oldest of whom was just five (five) years old then.
“After mourning my husband, I discovered that there were some missing documents from our apartment, the most important of which was the documents for this plot of land. I raised the alarm then and when nobody came forth with information on its whereabouts, I quickly ran to the Nigeria Police Station at Abakpa Junction here in Enugu to make a report. I also went to the Ministry of Lands, where, armed with the police extract, I was able to obtain the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the property.
“But not long after, Mr Nkem Owoh appeared, claiming ownership of the land. I tried to inform him that I had neither sold the land nor authorized its sale to anybody but he insisted the plot belonged to him. The matter continued to drag between us until it got to a point when he began to ask that we settle. Having not sold the land and having no intention to sell the land, I told him there was nothing to settle. He persuaded me with all manner of offers, including that of paying extra money to motivate me to relinquish the land but I said no.
“Sir, this plot of land is perhaps the only major valuable I was able to invest in with my husband and we did it then because we wanted a proper home for our children. Even now, as I struggle to bring them up, this land remains the only valuable property that we have.
“So when Mr Nkem Owoh felt he was not succeeding in persuading me to part with this land, he began to use threats and on several occasions said he was going to forceful take possession of the land and vowed that since I claimed God will fight for me, that I had better bring down my Creator when the chips are down. Each time he comes to meet me, he usually came with a retinue of dangerous looking thugs but I was never to be cowed into giving him the only property I am leaving for my children.
“Because my salary was barely enough to pay our rent, pay for the school fees of the children and provide for their upkeep, I felt it was proper to construct a house no matter how small on the land so that we can move in and thus begin to save what we were using to pay house rents.
Thus I began construction four years ago (in 2008). I was slowly building this potential home of ours because my income was not large enough for speedy construction. I had to even take a loan to enable us finish and park in this year.
“Sir, this building had been practically completed. I had roofed the house and was about hanging the doors and windows, having also installed the frames when Nkem Owoh and his agents struck, bringing the entire structure, my four years of labour, to ordinary rubble.
“I have nowhere else to go except to your esteemed office. I am a poor widow. I have no other source of help except from God and from public spirited people like you.
“When I saw the damage done to this property of mine, I ran to the Trans Ekulu Police Station where I was rebuffed by an officer who, even without investigating the matter, concluded that Nkem Owoh is not a trouble maker and could never have done such evil. This officer refused my entreaties and sent me away, saying Police do not treat land matters. But sir, this is not just a land matter. It is a criminal destruction of property.”
News Express reports that Osuofia has refused to pick calls seeking his own side of the scandal which analysts say may impact negatively on his image and blossoming acting and modeling career.
*Photo: The widow and her children in front of the demolished house.
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