From Aniekan Aniekan, Calabar

A high court in Cross River State sitting in Effraya, Etung local government area has granted a motion ex parte disbanding the state Cocoa Allocation Surveillance team.

By this order, the team has been restrained from operating at the government Cocoa estate and further harassing allottees of government cocoa farms in Etung.

The order came five days after Otu’s administration issued a statement suspending the activities of the surveillance team.

The court presided over by Justice Amajama Eneji subsequently adjourned the matter to May 23, 2024, for argument after a counter affidavit to the motion on notice and statement of defence was filed by counsel to Cross River State government Woda Ogar.

Speaking after the day’s proceedings, counsel to Cross River State government, Wada Ogar, said, “Well, it is the allegation of the claimants that some hooligans are taking over the plots over which we are in court, harassing the people and all that.

Related News

“That is why in the first place, they brought an application ex parte to restrain those people and then they alleged that a surveillance committee set up by the government was being used to perpetrate illegalities, because of that, the court made another ex parte,” Woda said.

Also speaking, counsel for claimant, Mba Ukweni (SAN), averred that he and his clients (claimants ) came to court to take a motion for interlocutory injunction to restraint government and its agents, her appointees from interfering with allottees of government cocoa

“If the government itself have now discovered that the activities of members of the task force and the people they are using to harass people in the estate are illegal, the court should give a stamp of legal authority to that and restrain them.

“So the court agreed with both of us and has made the order which is as good as an interlocutory injunction. it is an order of court restraining them so, the status quo remaining parties have to continue with what they are doing”, he said.

Allottees of 1415 cocoa estates during the last administration in the state had approached the court in Suit No HE/16/2024 seeking succour over alleged plans by the current in the state to evict them.