by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Controversy in Okposieke’s family of Onitsha community has continued to rage on over who represents the family as the principal counsel in all its dealings with the public over their landed properties that are scattered all over the metropolis and beyond.
This decision had been concluded by Mr. Ezedinobi Ben Ekwerekwu, who chairs Okposieke family Land Committee, in an emergency meeting of the entire Okposieke family members, including the elders, youths and the principal family members at Onitsha.
He recalled that the family had stated that the contentious issue over the legitimate family lawyer that represents the family is no longer matters to be contested anywhere, adding that the entire Okposieke family of Onitsha community, years ago in unionism, appointed Barrister Harold Ekwerekwu as the legitimate legal counsel that will oversee their affairs, particularly in legal cases, concerning their landed properties.
The head of Okposieke’s family, the landed property owners in Onitsha in Anambra state, Mr. Nnabuenyi Igweze, had raised alarm over alleged conspiracy between lawyer, state government and the state judiciary to scuttle recovery of Okposieke’s vast land.
Mr. Igweze in a statement said the trio led by a family member, Nnanyelugo Chike Agha, wanted to discredit the family and the family lawyer, Barr. Harold Ekwerekwu, of “lack of authority” of the family to represent them and also to execute all legal cases he had been doing on expired leased lands in the Onitsha metropolis.
Speaking to newsmen at the emergency meeting of the family members convened in Onitsha, chairman of Okposieke family land committee, Mr. Ben Ezedinobi, said Barr. Harold Ekwerekwu had been carrying out this mandate to the satisfaction of the entire Okposieke family of Onitsha.
“His efforts and success in recovering the lands were roundly supported by the late Diokpa of the family Akunnia Ustesc Ojekwe (that died few months ago), family elders, the entire youths and principal family members,” he stated.
He, however, regretted the actions of two or three “dissidents” in the family, championed by Nnanyelugo Chike Agha that had decided to scuttle the collective efforts of the entire family in recovering their expired leased lands in the Onitsha metropolis by approaching the state government and the state judiciary to discredit the family and the family lawyer, Barr. Harold Ekwerekwu, by saying that he does not have the authority of the family to represent them and also execute all legal cases he had been doing.
Mr. Ben Ezedinobi Ekwerekwu frowned at the behavior of Nnanyelugo Chike Agha and his cohorts, who had already tarnished the image of the entire Okposieke family through their actions and antecedents by jeopardizing the collective efforts of the family in getting back their ancestral lands leased to the government and individuals, which had already expired.
“Nnanyelugo Chike Agha had been acting like a paid saboteur. I wonder what he stands to achieve by going against the family. For him to partner with Anambra State Government, the State Judiciary and other individuals to fight against the family is what beat my imagination,” he decried.
“Also, he had been laying claims to the Diokpa position in the family, forgetting that his father is still ‘alive,’ as he has not told Onitsha People about his demise by performing his full burial rites (second burial), according to the native laws and customs of Onitsha People. He cannot be the Diokpa or the head of the family so long as the Onitsha native laws and customs are in place,” it stated.