C.of.O recertification order: Ploy to victimise members of opposition parties—Group slams Ebonyi govt
Nnachi, E.U, Abakaliki
A human rights group, Ebonyi Advocacy for Human Rights Initiative, has condemned and kicked against an order by the Ebonyi State Government to recertify all existing certificates of occupancy, in the state.
It claimed the move was geared towards “forcefully” disposesing vulnerable landlords of their landed property, in the state, saying the State Government was about to unleash a terrible crime on the citizenry if it was not called to order.
The group stated this in a statement signed by its Chairman, Chief Abia Onyike, which was made available to journalists, in Abakaliki, on Thursday night, alleging the order was further aimed at victimising members of opposition parties, in the state.
The statement read in part, “On behalf of the Ebonyi Advocacy for Human Rights Initiative, I wish to to alert the public and the mass media about the following issues:
“One, the latest intriguing steps of Ebonyi State Government aimed at disposesing Ebonyi landlords of their hard earned landed properties. It is about to commit a terrible crime unless it is called to order. It’s working towards the total and complete confiscation of all landed properties in the state through an illegal and lawless process of nullifying all Certificates of Occupancy( C of O) in the state.
“The State issued a Public Service Announcement, dated Thursday, September 2, 2021, through its Special Assistant on Lands and Survey, Emmanuel Igwe, where it stated that all Certificates of Occupancy are hereby withdrawn”, calling on residents and landlords to go for re-certitication.
“We condemn this lawless effrontery in this regard, because we see its Executive Order as an abuse of its constitutional powers. It is an excessive and arrogant display of power and a viscious affront on the good people of Ebonyi State, who elected it into office.
“The illegal exercise it wants to embark upon is a ploy to create confusion and to possibly shield itself from its nefarious activities as an emergent land grabber, that has a lot of questions to answer about the seizure of plots in the Meat Market, Old Building Materials Market and other layouts where land was recovered by it.
“Thirdly, the Government is looking for an opportunity to victimise political opponents, critics and some non-indigeneous property owners, whom it has earmarked piece of their landed properties for seizure.”
Recall the State Government, on Thursday, said it would withdraw all former certificates of occupancy (C of O) from the residents.
The Special Assistant to Governor David Umahi on Lands and Survey, Chief Emmanuel Igwe, stated that the general public had been notified of the Executive Order made by the Governor, which directed the compulsory recertification of all the Certificates of Occupancy in the state.
According to him, the former C-of Os awarded to residents had been withdrawn as recertification and revalidation of the documents, commenced immediately.
Igwe said, “In view of this, the general public are hereby notified that the former C-of-O are hereby withdrawn.
“There is ongoing recertification of all Certificates of occupancy (C-of-O) and revalidation of all title documents in Ebonyi State by the Office of the Special Assistant to the Governor on Lands and Survey.