STAFF of Nigerian Ports Authority in Cross River State were on Thursday evicted from their official residential apartments at Ekorinim, Calabar Municipal Council known as harbor village following a court ruling ordering NPA to vacate the property said to belong to a medical practitioner in the state, Dr. Sama Ekpo Sama.
The eviction put to paid about thirty eight years of legal battle between the Nigerian Ports Authority and Dr. Sama who was brought back to Nigeria from Switzerland in the early seventies by the then state government to help develop the health sector of the state.
Dr. Sama had in 1984 in the suit No. C/104/84 dragged the authorities of NPA to court over the property measuring about 11.04 hectares which was said to have been covered by Certificate of Occupancy No. CA/3837/93 where the NPA has as staff quarters claiming ownership of the property and praying the court to order the ‘tenants’ who were said to have confiscated the property to vacate the place.
The Court presided over by Justice U.J. Udofia after hearing from the two parties, on February 18, 1985, delivered a judgment in favour of the plaintiff (Sama) as the rightful owner of the parcel of land and property herein.
Sama who was the Creditor/Applicant in the suit was said to have developed the said property into a Health Farm Clinic and Resort Centre with various medical facilities.
But after obtaining the judgment, the Creditor/Applicant had taken many steps to enforce it but all to no avail as efforts were allegedly made from highly placed personalities in the country to frustrate its execution and on June 4, 2009, another execution order was issued by Justice S.M. Anjor to extend the time within which the judgment Creditor/Applicant could execute it but the NPA went to Federal High Court but also lost the case.
However, the Judgment Creditor/Applicant filed a motion on notice on August 8, 2012 to revalidate the execution order in Suit No. HC/MSC. 180/2012, praying the court to extend the time within which to enforce the 1985 judgment.
Sama in the motion also asked the court to grant him leave to apply for the issuance of execution processes for the purpose of enforcing the judgment and any further orders the court may deem fit to grant.
The presiding Judge, Justice B. E. Ikpeme in his ruling said, “After hearing Mba Ukweni Esquire of Counsel for the judgment Creditor/Applicant and I.E. Ikona Esquire of Counsel for the Judgment Debtors/Respondents adopt their respective written addresses.
“It is hereby ordered that this application be and is hereby granted and the orders are made as specifically prayed in 1&2 of the Judgment Creditor/Applicant’s motion paper.”
As at yesterday’s afternoon (Thursday) property of staff were thrown out of the residential quarters, while efforts were made by some affected staff to evacuate their property from the place.
The Harbor village has about 46 buildings with over 100 people living in those buildings.
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