BY HEMBADOON ORSAR, MAKURDI
A Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice Sampson Itodo, has fixed 5th March, 2021, for ruling on interlocutory application seeking to restrain Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Màkurdi from erecting a perimetre fence round the disputed land between Poor Community, Mbanima, Ugondu District of Màkurdi Local Government Area of Benue State.
Our Correspodent gathered that the ruling on the interlocutory application will also help in restraining NAF for further destroying property and economic trees in the disputed
When the case cameout for hearing, Counsel to the plaintiffs, Dr Mbafan Ekpendu urged the court to exercise its discretion in granting his application arguing that no competent counter affidavits or written address is before the court to counter his application.
She told the court that her application was filed on the 20th of November 2020 which under law ought to have been replied within seven days but was rather replied with what she assume as counter affidavit on the 14 of January, 2021 after the time allowed by law has elapsed
Responding, Counsel to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants/Respondents, Benny Chapki Esq argued that the fumbling of a court process does not affect the competence of a case, and the principles of fair play should forgive an aberration in the interest of justice. He argued that the essence of the fencing which does not involved the whole land is to protect the bomb ammunition of the Nigeria Air force.
Having listened to arguments by counsels for the parties Justice Itodo adjourned the case to the 5th March, 2021, for ruling.
Recalled that Tse Poor Community has drag the Nigerian Airforce to Court to restrained them from carrying out fencing on the disputed land till the Court decides.
Elder of the Community Philip Poor who spoke to our Correspodent informed that the Community had secure two Injunction from the Court restraining NAF to stop work on the perimetre fencing of the disputed land but they did not honour any of the Injunctions
Elder Poor also lamented that the fencing of the land has traped over 200 household and their crops thereby rendering residents hungry and homeless and as well bringing untold hardship on the Community members
“What we are praying the Court to do is to stop NAF from building perimetre fence on the disputed land so that our people who are render homeless and hungry can get access to their homes and farm land”
‘We are also praying that they should release to us 187 hectres of land and also compensate us for the one given to them before to enable members of Poor Community engage in farming activities and other means of livelihood to improve their standard of living.