Anglican Church Drags Obiano to Court Over Crowther School Dispute

The Diocese on the Niger, Anglican Communion, Onitsha in Anambra in a determined bid to recover their heritage, the Bishop Crowther Memorial Primary School has dragged the administration of Governor Willie Obiano to court.

The confirmation came from no less a person than the Chancellor of the Diocese and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria(SAN), Kpajie Nnamdi Ibegbu, who said that the Church has filed three different suits against against the Anambra State Government in connection with the disputed Bishop Crowther Memorial Primary School.

All though he did not reveal the details of the suit the Chancellor said ” with all the documents we have and the facts we have, no reasonable tribunal will enter judgment against us.No reasonable tribunal will enter judgment against us”.

Tracing the origin of the school to 1927 when one Lady Anesthesia Modebe leased the land located at the Nkisi Road to Church Missionary Society (CMS)  now Niger Diocese.

He said a  school named after Bishop Crowther   was much later built on the land but the Local Authority equivalent of Local Government  Area wanted a school they will aid.

The Church granted them the school but in 1970 the East Central State  administration under Ukpai Asika, took over the control, management and administration of all the schools in the defunct East Central State.

However, in 2012, Mr Peter Obi as the Governor of Anambra State due to the disputes and false claims of ownership by the Roman Catholic Church of some schools, set up a Committee on the resolution of disputrs over take over of Schools by the then East Central State.

The report which was submitted to  Obi in Page 43  no 43 clearly stated that the school belongs to the Niger Diocese.

In the report the Committee headed by a former Chief Judge of the State, Justice G. U. U, Ononiba with Pastor . Azubuike. Nkalagu, a Deputy Director, Administration as Secretary said ” evidence of the inquiry showed that Bishop Crowther Memorial Primary School is an Anglican Primary School built in 1956. It should be given to them”.

The report was submitted on September 28, 2003.

He said that this sad development started when the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the flood prone areas of the State into the place.

Ibegbu said they saw it as an opportunity to move the church out of the place, pulled the structure down and desecrated the church altar.

He said ” they immediately fenced the  entire place and chased the Diocese on the Niger out. So, that is the position  we are faced with but we won’t relent”.

The Chancellor lamented that Government was clearly aware of this report but they have  sympathy or leaning to the Roman Catholic Church.

The Anglican Church which has never ceased to accuse the Anambra State Government of playing the scripts of State Government last week had their clergies protested at Government House, Awka over the continued siege of the school by security operatives to prevent the Anglicans from having access to the worship place.

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