Private School Proprietors Sue Anambra Govt

Raymond Ozoji, Awka

Heirs of the African proprietors of schools taken over by the military government of the defunct East Central State of Nigeria have dragged Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state before the State High Court for denial of payment of compensation or immediate return of the confiscated private schools to the original owners.

In the suit number A/83/2019, the plaintiff through their councils, Sir Frank Muolokwu Esq, Anene Belonwu Esq, Obi Muorah Esq and Kennedy Egwuatu Esq prayed the court to compel Governor Willie Obiano to return their schools to them since other schools owned by voluntary agencies like the Catholic and Anglican missions in the state have all been returned to them and compensation paid.

According to the lead council, Sir Muolokwu Esq, “Government of Anambra state has not been fair to the proprietors of private schools. Recently, they handed over schools owned by missionaries back to them and paid whopping sums of money which run into millions of naira to them while withholding schools and payment of compensation to proprietors, people who founded education in the then eastern Nigeria.”

Recall that the aggrieved children and heirs of the proprietors, whose schools were seized 49 years ago, petitioned Governor Willie Obiano last year, appealing to him to return their fathers’ schools to them and pay them compensation for forceful acquisition of the schools since 1970 through education edit of the military administration.

They also called for urgent abrogation of the law that gave credence to the unlawful take-over of their schools by the government of the defunct East Central State of Nigeria.

Some of the schools in contention include Okija Grammer School, owned by Chief B.C Nduka; Merchant of Light, Oba, owned by Chief E.I Oli; Basden Memorial Grammar school, established in 1961 by M.C Ogwu; Metuh Memorial Secondary School, Onitsha, owned by Sir Augustine Metuh; Eastern Academy Onitsha, by Igwe M.A Onwuzu; Our Lady’s High School, Onitsha, owned by Sir P.E. Chukwura among others.

When the matter came up for hearing, B.C Obiekie who appeared for the Attorney General and Governor Willie Obiano appealed for extension of time to enable them to regularize. The court granted this.

The presiding judge, Justice Arinze Akabua, thereafter adjourned the matter to October 15 for continuation.

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