Claimants in Nsumide/Ada Oru land dispute have been restrained by Port-Harcourt High Court from further trespassing on the land pending the determination of motion on notice.
Presiding judge of the court, Honourable Justice S. H. Aprioku, made the order restraining the claimants at Wednesday's hearing and restrained other parties from also trespassing on the land.
The order was made after counsel to second set of defendants, Patrice Ukposi, had prayed the court to maintain the status quo by an order restraining all parties from trespassing on disputed land.
He said that the claimants were working on the disputed land, with police allegedly giving them protection and asked for the court's intervention.
He said the status quo should be maintained pending the determination of motion on notice which he had filed.
Justice Aprioku said in his ruling claimants and all other parties were restrained from trespassing on the land pending the determination of the motion on notice.
He said the court would hear the motion on notice, and adjourned to 6 February.
The second set of defendants in the case are Mr Independence Enyidah, Mr Victor Ossai, Dr Moses Bakpo and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic branch.
The claimants in the case are Mr Fabulous Amaewhule, Mr Oluchukwu Amaewhule and Mr Ezihuo Opara for themselves and as representatives of Mbodo Community, Aluu in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.
In interview after the ruling, counsel to second set of defendants, Patrice Ukposi, said that the disputed land was sold to his clients by Mbodo Community, Aluu in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He said his clients had “taken possession” of the land for more than five years and “had even started perimeter fencing” of the land before the claimants trespassed on it claiming ownership.
He said that they “disrupted” developmental plans by his clients when they trespassed on the land.
Ukposi said: “The claimant(s) went into the land and started bulldozing the land with the protection of some police officers…. The court ordered that status quo be maintained. That is to say (that) all parties should not get into the land or do any developmental thing on the land pending the determination of the motion on notice which has already been filed”.
He said the disputed land was on Tam David West Boulevard, adding the court had earlier restrained the claimants from trespassing on the land.
The defence counsel said first set of defendants also claimed ownership of the land.
They are Mr Emma Ikegwuru and Elder Christian Amadi Achi for themselves and as representatives of Rumuawhoechor Community in Rumuekini Town, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The third set of defendants who sold the land are Chief Kenneth Nwobunwo, Chief Apolos Amadi and Chief Emmanuel Peters for themselves and as representatives of Omuchinwo Group of Families in Mbodo Community, Aluu in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He said the case was instituted by claimants, who were absent at Wednesday's hearing.