Posted by News Express | 21 April 2020 | 925 times
By HILARY AKALUGWU
A cleric, Ikechukwu Ajil, Pastor of Christian Family Outreach in Umu-Ooda Ogili, in Igboeze-North Local Government Area of Enugu State has accused Mr Simeon Atigwe, representing Igboeze-North/Udenu in House of Representatives of threatening his life.
Ajil who made the allegation in Nsukka, while speaking with newsmen, said that the lawmaker had influenced some villagers to gang-up against him for selling land he inherited from the father.
“Because I sold the land I inherited from my father to somebody outside the village, there is now gang-up against me in the village.
“I grew up in this village, I have not heard there is any law that prevents one from selling his land to an outsider,” he said.
According to Ajil, he sold the land to raise money to treat himself because he had been suffering from stroke since 2011.
“But because of gang-up, some people in the village said I have no right to sell my land and even if I want to sell it, the buyer must be a member of the village and not an outsider,” he said.
He alleged that those ganging up against him had not only taken the matter to council of elders, but went ahead to pull down the perimeter fence constructed by the person who bought the land.
“The surprising thing is that some unidentified people have pulled down the fence which the buyer of the land constructed.
“Till now, nobody has claimed responsibility of pulling down that fence rather they said it was village masquerades that pulled down the fence,” he said.
Responding to the allegations, Atigwe denied either ganging up against Ajil or threatening his life.
“I have no personal problem or hatred against Ajil.
“My involvement in the matter is because I am the chairman of the committee set up by the village to find out if truly Ajil sold ancestral land to an outsider.
“That is the reason why I followed the matter to the police to ensure that some of my committee members arrested, who told him he was violating the law of the land are granted bail,” he said.
He explained that the law of not allowing people to sell ancestral land in the area was one of the measures put by their forefathers to strengthen good relationship among villagers and prevent strangers causing problems in the village.
“Currently the matter is before the village council of elders, who have invited Ajil and issued directive that every activity on the land in question should stop pending the resolution of the matter.
“If Ajil had approached me that he needed money to take care of his ill health, I could have assisted him without any delay than selling ancestral land.
“By God’s special grace, I have been assisted many people financially both in my village as well as in the constituency, as one who represents the people in the National Assembly,” he said
When contacted, Mr Jonathan Ajil, the eldest man in Umu-Ooda Ogili village, said the matter would be resolved amicably by the council of elders.
The eldest man who is from the same family with Ikechukwu Ajil, said the problem was not that his brother sold the land, but that he sold it to an outsider, which was against the existing law in the village.
“The council of elders will find way to resolve the problem, but the truth is that, it’s against the law of our village to sell ancestral land to somebody who is not from the village,” he said. (NAN)
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