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Land dispute: Palace chief threatened to kill me – Civil servant tells court

A civil servant, Ochu Paul, told an Upper Area Court in Gwagwalada, Abuja that a palace chief threatened to kill him over a land dispute.

Paul gave the account on the resumed trial of the palace chief, Iliya Baza, on charges of criminal trespass and intimidation preferred against him and one Benjamin Enoch, a palace guard by the police.

The Complainant (Paul) who was being cross-examined by the prosecution counsel, Abdullahi Tanko, said the land was bought by his father in 1990 and had not been in dispute since then, until now.

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“The defendant (Baza) have been a great adversary to my father. They are great enemies.

” My father bought the land in 1990 when Kwali Area Council was under Gwagwalada and since then we have been operating on our land, the land is free from trouble and trespass since 1990 up until date no one has intimidated or harass us over the land.

“It all started on May 6, 2019, when I went to the palace of the Etsu Kwali for his royal blessing over a project I wanted to embark on, Baza was there in the company of other chiefs

” When I was introduced by my father’s name, he was not happy to see me. He never knew my father had a grown-up son.

”After three days of my visit, Baza held a meeting with some people on how to kill me, in the meeting their plan was to relocate me to another land and collect my and if I disagree they will attack and kill me and said I came to attack a chief and that was the reason I was killed.

” I was reliably informed by someone to be more careful of the chief as there was a plan on ground to kill me,” he alleged.

He said that he reported the matter to the palace and the defendant sent one of his boys, Enoch (2nd defendant) to beat and threaten him.

He said that he was rushed to the hospital for treatment and later he reported the matter to the police.

He, however, tended the hospital card, scan receipt, receipt of the drugs he purchased as exhibits.

The offence, the police said, contravened the provisions of sections 348 and 397 of the Penal Code.

After listening to the testimony, the judge, Sani Umar, adjourned the case until April 20 for cross-examination of the witness.


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