The people of Ifa Ikot Akpan village in Etoi Clan of Uyo Local Government, have sent a save-our-soul message to the judicial service commission, the senate committee on human rights, the Inspector- General of Police and other relevant authorities to come to their aid and save them from further destruction of their properties and lives by those they describe as miscreants, who they believe to be indigenes of Ibiaku Issiet Village in Uruan Local Government Area.
Narrating their ordeal to newsmen during a peaceful demonstration, the village council chairman, Chief Okon Edet Udo said the crisis was erupted by a “spurious” judgment delivered by Justice Charles Ikpe in Suit No: HU/71/2017.
According to him, the piece of land in dispute belonged to Ifa Ikot Akpan as they were all born to inherit, but trouble started when some persons from Ibiaku encroached on the plot after they (Ifa Ikot Akpan) leased the plot to Gitto Construction Company to dredge sand for the construction of the Victor Attah International Airport.
He said the two communities were naturally demarcated by a stream, called Idim Uduok and that the land before the stream, Idim Uduok farmland was owned and cultivated by Ifa Ikot Akpan from time immemorial.
However, in 2000, same persons trespassed into the land and when they reported to the paramount ruler of Uruan, HRH, Edidem Eba Ekanem, and he vehemently admonished them that the land belonged to Ifa Ikot Akpan in Uyo Local Government and not Ibiaku in Uruan Local Government. Since then, no trespass was recorded till 2008 when they leased the land to Gitto Construction Company.
“But to our utmost surprise, in 2014, the same people started invading the said plot and attacked our farms and as law abiding citizens, we resorted to instituting a legal action with Suit No HU/71/2017, presided by the above mentioned judge and to our great shock again, the case was hurriedly dismissed by the judge for “lacking merit”.
“Powered by this spurious judgment, Ibiaku people ganged up with cultists, beating up and brandishing matchete on our people at our market”.
Udo recalled that the village head of Ibiaku Issiet, Chief William Effiong Etim, had on Monday April 8, published in Accord Newspaper, page 4 that right from immemorial, the boundary between Ibiaku Issiet and Ifa Ikot Akpan had always been Idim Uduok where the boundary tree is planted.
Also speaking, spokesman of Land Donor Family Member, Otuekong Cyril Michael confirmed that the crisis was powered by the judgment, where the case was dismissed as lacking in merit. He called on the National Judicial Commission to revisit the case to forestall impending bloodbath in the warring communities.