Umulokpa Family Cry Out, Accuses Father Ndu Of Holy Cross Parish of illegal land Acquisition

Father Ndu

In a heartbreaking plea, the descendants of the late Martin Ngwaka from Akiyi Umulokpa, Uzo Uwani LGA of Enugu state, are desperately seeking help as they face a relentless onslaught orchestrated by Reverend Father Emmanuel Ndu, a Catholic priest.

Martin Ngwaka, once a devoted parishioner at Holy Cross Parish Akuiyi Umuluokpa, now watches from beyond as his family grapples with the very institution he served faithfully.

Ámáechi Friday Ngwaka, the grandson of the late Martin Ngwaka, bravely shared the heart-wrenching tale of their family’s plight in a struggle over ancestral land and inheritance with Reverend Father Emmanuel Ndụ and other figures within the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka, in Enugu state, Nigeria.

The roots of this agonizing conflict lie in the absence of any documented agreement between the Ngwaka family and the Catholic Church regarding their cherished ancestral land. Reverend Father Emmanuel Ndụ and his cohorts seem determined to seize this land at any cost.

Ngwaka revealed that the matter has not found its way into a courtroom but rather rests in the hands of the catholic Diocese of Nsukka Land Committee, chaired by Reverend Father Uchenna Eze.

Accusing Rev Father Eze and the Secretary to the bishop, Reverend Father Cagetan, of collusion and purposeful delays, Ngwaka paints a grim picture of the injustice his family is facing at the hands of Father Emmanuel Ndụ.

He recounted a distressing incident where Father Emmanuel Ndu resorted to drastic measures, involving the police and hired individuals, to forcibly evict his father from the land, exposing him to potential harm.

Ngwaka claimed that the priest then callously arrested his elderly father, mother, and sister, incarcerating them first at Umulokpa Police Station and later at the state CID. Meanwhile, Father Emmanuel Ndụ heartlessly initiated construction on the disputed land, leaving the family in a state of anguish.

In a gut-wrenching revelation, Ngwaka accused Father Emmanuel of attempting to manipulate church members from their community through bribery to falsely testify that the land rightfully belongs to the church.

He asserted that when his father sought traditional intervention, some church members and villagers recanted their testimonies, claiming they were coerced and unaware of the true circumstances.

Ngwaka further alleged that Father Emmanuel Ndụ callously threatened to use the church’s vast resources and influence to wrestle away the land at any cost.

In his words, ‘My name is Ámáechi Friday Ngwaka; my grandfather’s name is Martin Ngwaka, and my father’s name is Donatus Ngwaka. We are from Ụwani Amufe Akuiyi Umuluokpa, Ụzọ Ụwani LGA of Enugu state.’

‘That land belongs to us. My grandfather served God very well under the Catholic Church, Holy Cross Parish Akuiyi Umulokpa. When he was alive, he helped the Catholic Church acquire land from the entire village. Six years after my grandfather’s death in 1979, the new Parish priest then started dragging our own ancestral land.’

‘In 1979, my father and my widowed grandmother were locked up at Adani Police station. Upon my father’s return, he destroyed the perimeter fence they had constructed while he was in detention.’

‘A man we had a boundary with by the name Ejimnkeonye was the one who gave the church land with a written and documented agreement. Our land is not part of it.’

‘Last two years in 2022, my father told Reverend Father Emmanuel Ndụ to stop entering the land and planting new trees. Father Ndụ started threatening my father, asking him if he could afford a legal suit in Abuja. He warned my father to stay off the land, claiming that my grandfather had donated the land to the church.’

‘All the letters I sent to the Bishop, the secretary Reverend Cajetan made sure they didn’t get to him.’

‘The Church members forced themselves onto our family land, protesting and abusing my parents. One of them, who is a Barrister, told my family that the church would take the land at all costs, stating that we cannot fight the church.’”

Ngwaka implored the Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese , Most Reverend Godfrey Onah to intervene and prevent the triumph of injustice in a scheme that has persisted for decades.

In a disheartening turn, Reverend Father Emmanuel Ndụ, when approached, declined to make a further statement, outside urging the aggrieved family to report their grievances to the appropriate authorities. He emphasized that land disputes are not resolved on social media or in newspapers.

This unfolding tragedy encapsulates a harrowing narrative of contested land, intertwined with allegations of intimidation, violence, and corruption. The Ngwaka family, resilient in their quest to defend their heritage, continues to seek resolution amidst the heart-wrenching controversy.

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