The House of Bishops, House of Clergy and House of Laity of the Province on the Niger, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion has, on Tuesday, asked the Governor Willie Obiano-led State Government to return the disputed school in Onitsha, Anambra State.
The Bishops made the demand in a statement issued and signed by the Archbishop, Province of the Niger and Bishop of , Prof Godwin Okpala.
They, amongst other things, asked the Government of Anambra State to hand over the school to the Diocese on the Niger to manage, control and administer.
They insisted that the ownership of the land commenced in 1926, hence should be honored, as Certified True Copies of supporting documents are available.
Read below the press release in full;
After a meeting by the House of Bishops comprising of The Most Rev. Prof. G.I.N. Okpala – The Archbishop, Province of the Niger and Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Rt. Rev. Henry Okeke – Bishop of Mbamili Diocese, Rt. Rev. Alex Ibezim Ph.D – Bishop of Awka Diocese, Rt. Rev. Johnson Ekwe – Bishop of Niger West Diocese, Rt. Rev. Prof. Israel Okoye – Bishop of Ihiala Diocese, Rt. Rev. Prosper Amah – Bishop of Ogbaru Diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr. Owen Nwokolo – Bishop On the Niger Diocese and the representatives of the Bishops of the Diocese of Aguata and Amichi respectively, the House of Clergy and House of Laity of the Province of the Niger, Anglican Communion, it was resolved as follows:
1. The demonstration going on at Awka today against Bishop Owen Nwokolo, Bishop of the Diocese on the Niger is not by Anglicans, but by hirelings who called themselves concerned Christian and non-Christian citizens of Anambra state co-ordinated by one Mr. Ernest Anafonye and Onyedika Nwosu as their Secretary. They are bent on tarnishing the image of the Anglican Church, Rt. Rev. Dr. Owen Nwokolo and the Diocese on the Niger, who are the rightful owner of the land at Nkisi Road, G.R.A. Onitsha where there is Bishop Crowther Memorial Primary School since 1926 with a duly registered document in 1927.
2. The publication in the Sunday Sun Newspapers the 4th Day of November, 2018 authored by the so called Rev Zachaeus Iloegbuna who used a pen-name, is not a priest of the Anglican Communion, and information therein are all false. Likewise, the publication in the Sun Newspaper of today the 6th Day of November, 2018 authored by Akajiofor is equally unfounded, false and baseless.
3. The Church Missionary Society duly ensured that the school became a local authority school for the purpose of aid and grant whilst the ownership of the school and land remained the property of the diocese on the Niger. Since 1956 Bishop Crowther Memorial School, Nkisi Road Onitsha was founded as a Local Authority School by the application of the Diocese on the Niger.
4. In 2012, the Report of the State Committee on the Resolution of the disputes over the ownership of certain Primary Schools before the takeover of schools by the Government of the then East Central State in 1970 set up by His Excellency, Mr Peter Obi under the chairmanship of Hon Justice G.U Ononiba stated clearly that the school is an Anglican School and should be handed over to the Anglican Church which is the Diocese on the Niger. Up till now, that Report of the Committee has not been implemented despite all efforts to do so.
5. The Government of Anambra State should hand over the school to the Diocese on the Niger to manage, control and administer; and the ownership of the land which commenced in 1926 should be honored as Certified True Copies of supporting documents are available.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Anambra State!