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HomeNewsEviction: 1,415 cocoa farmers floor Gov Otu in court

Eviction: 1,415 cocoa farmers floor Gov Otu in court

Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State’s directive for 1,415 cocoa farmers to vacate their lands has been thwarted by a high court in Effraya, Etung Local Government Area. The court issued an interim injunction preventing the state government from carrying out the eviction.

The hectares of land had been allocated to the farmers by the immediate past administration led by Prof Ben Ayade. However, the state government’s cocoa allocation committee, chaired by Mr. Ebori Nku, deemed their occupancy illegal despite meeting all requirements.

Mr. Charles Mgbe and other allottees took legal action against the State government, represented by suit no. HE/16/2024, over the threat of eviction.

Representing the farmers, Counsel Ntufam Mba Ukweni Esq, SAN, approached the court seeking relief.

Presiding judge, Justice Amajama Eneji, granted the injunction, restraining the state government and its representatives from harassing, intimidating, or evicting the farmers.

Justice Amajama emphasized the importance of justice and ordered the defendants to refrain from any actions against the farmers.

The court set the hearing for the motion on notice for April 29, 2024.

Counsel for the claimants reiterated the farmers’ rights and indicated that the government would be summoned to court. He emphasized that the farmers had fulfilled their obligations, and the government’s failure to honor the agreement was unjust.

The court’s order prohibits the government from evicting the farmers until they present their case.

Issues regarding the allocation and ownership of cocoa farms in Etung have arisen following the inauguration of a new cocoa allocation committee by Governor Otu.

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