THE Nigerian Army has denied selling a land housing the new Abakaliki capital city to Ebonyi State government.
In a counter affidavit deposed to by the army as respondent to a suit instituted by some indigenes and inhabitants of the disputed land, Ndieze Inyimegu village, the army denied previous ownership of the land.
At the resumed hearing of the suit at the Federal High Court Abakaliki, Michael Okechukwu of the Army Legal Services contended that the army, being an agency of the Federal Government, does not acquire land except the ones given to it by the Federal Government.
Ebonyi State government, which was yet to respond to the affidavit sworn by the indigenous owners of the land, had claimed before the court that the land was handed over to it by the army.
Representative of the state government had rushed to the court room, pleading to be allowed to file its counter affidavit out of time.
Granting the request, even against the express provisions of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, the trial judge, Justice Akintayo Aluko, extended the time for the state government to file its defence at the cost of N20,000 awarded the applicants.
The judge insisted that justice demands that both sides of the dispute be heard, adding that he would prefer to hear the matter on its merit.
The matter was adjourned till May 3, 2017 for further hearing.