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Nfon Mukete Sues SDO, Mayor Over Land 

Nfon Mukete also sued Sheriff Bailiff, Alobwede Ngole Epie, and Manfred Wam Yuh, lessee of a disputed land. In a motion of notice, No. CASWP/61M/1m/2009, Nfon Mukete’s lawyer Philip Awutah Atubah, prayed the court to stay the execution of the ruling of the same court in 1997, which gave Yuh the right to use the said land.

The lawyer said this would be in determination of a petition against a Ministerial Arrette No. 0611/Y.2.5/MINUH/D215 of November 23, 1995 granting a long-term lease of 25 years of the land to Yuh.In an affidavit in support of the motion, Awutah said sometime in the 1960s, the British Petroleum Company contacted Nfon Mukete’s father, Abel Mukete for a piece of land.

The lawyer averred that the land was for the construction of a petrol filling station at the Endeley Street junction, adding that the company never bought the land nor paid any compensation to Abel Mukete.Rather, the lawyer continued, the parties entered a gentleman’s agreement that upon the winding up of the company, any investment on the land would belong to Abel Mukete.

Awutah told the court that after the death of Abel Mukete, Nfon Mukete was made administrator over the estate of his deceased father.He said the State of Cameroon was never a party to the transaction, but after the company wound up, Nfon Mukete permitted one Stanley Nzu to use the disputed land as a temporal site for his garage.

According to Awutah’s submission, on November 17, 2008, Nzu was served with documents, accompanied by a ruling in 1998 from the Southwest Court of Appeal, which stated that Yuh was the rightful tenant of the land because he pays rents to the Government of Cameroon.

He said Nfon Mukete reacted that the State of Cameroon lacked the locus standi to lease out the land and applied for a land certificate over the said land.When The Post contacted Yuh, he argued that he was a partner to the British Petroleum Company and after the company folded up, he got authentic information that the said land belonged to the government.

"I forwarded my application to the Vice Prime Minister in charge of Town Planning then, Ahmadou Mustapha, for the place to be leased out to me. The Minister signed an order, authorising me to occupy the land on a long-term lease of 25 years, renewable. He further ordered me to pay an annual rent of FCFA 140,850 (excluding taxes) to the State of Cameroon," Yuh stated.

He said shortly after the 1995 authorisation, the then Mayor Kumba Urban Council under Eyumbi Sona, declared that the said land belonged to the council, and launched a war against him.He said when Caven Nnoko Mbele became Government Delegate in 1996, he intensified the attack against him.Yuh continued that when he took the matter to the Southwest Court of Appeal in 1998, the court ruled in his favour.

He said in 2002, he sued Nzu at the Magistrate Court, Kumba, for illegally occupying the land at the expense of his yearly rents to the state. He added that Nzu filed a counter-motion whose judgment still fell against him (Nzu).

The lessee explained that the court ordered Nzu to quit and to pay FCFA 2 million to him as fine. He said he immediately hired the services of Epie Chambers that executed the judgment and evicted Nzu from the land. The Post learnt it was for this reason that Nfon Mukete dragged Epie to court.

Meanwhile, Meme SDO, Charles Makoge Ivo, acting on the Ministerial Order, signed Prefectoral Order No. 289/2002, stating that the said land, being a state property, had been leased to Yuh, thereby barring illegal occupation of the land. The Post was also told that it was on the strength of this that the Bafaw Nfon sued the SDO.

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