By Princely Onyenwe, Imo
Reactions have continued to trail yesterday’s judgement in Imo that Okorocha forfeiture of properties acquired is wrong and that the government is wrong to have gone to seal properties without proper application and directions.
We have found out from the reactions of the court that it is true that the government in power is always in charge but also the same government should no that nobody is above the law and as such Imo government is expected to seek redress accordingly.
They did not place the facts before the Judge as the matter is before an appellate court and as such the judgement should be quashed.
An Owerri High Court presided over by Hon. Justice E.F Njemanze, today 24/2/2021 granted an Order of Interim forfeiture against all the property illegally acquired by former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.
Ruling on an ex-parte application for an order for interim forfeiture, filed by L.M Alozie (SAN) on behalf of the Imo State Government, Justice Njemanze granted the order as prayed.
Some of the properties included in the order are: Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, Royal Palm Luxury Hotel, Akachi Road, Old Magistrates Quarters, Orlu Road and many other properties listed and recommended by Justice Duruoha-Igwe panel on illegally acquired landed property.
The Judge Ordered the Applicant, to publish the list of properties in two national and local newspapers to enable anyone who wants to stop making the Order permanent, or who has any interest in any, to apply to the court, and show cause, why, the order will not be made permanent.
By this recent development, we have investigated the proceedings and have this hint that the properties forfeited will henceforth bear Imo state government property and not Okorochas’ pending the final decision by the court.
Meanwhile, Barrister Obinna Amagwula has a contrary view on a radio chat where he insisted that the matter should not be taking to any other court since there is a pending order at a high court in Abuja.
That the order of forfeiture is unnecessary, hence on the 13 days of September 2019 a federal high court judge released this same property to the owners. That the court may not be aware that the same matter is pending at an appellate court of competent jurisdiction.
He further stated that those areas of land in the contest was a verge belonging to the state government which was converted and developed by the then governor Okorocha to make Imo fine.
Besides, it is true that the government has the right to allocate land for possible development.
That the obvious is that the matter is already in court.That the affidavit was not inclusive in the order and there is no fact but that the court may have been deceived.
That the government should wait for the EFCC report than a pending suit to conflict with the judicial procedure. Any order gotten therein will be paused. We need to see the order and the affidavit hence there is a suborder.
9News Nigeria (Owerri)
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