Imo govt flouts court order, set to demolish Okorocha’s buildings in Imo
By Johnbull Chikwe
Agents of the Imo State government are said to have marked some buildings and business premises belonging to family members of a former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha for demolition.
In a video obtained by our correspondent, the agents of the government reportedly ordered the removal of the structures on the affected areas within seven days of the action. The implication, according to some sources who spoke to our correspondent is that the buildings may be forcefully demolished, if after the expiration of the seven days ultimatum the owners fail to voluntarily remove the structures.
However, a document exclusively obtained by some reporters show that most of the affected areas are subjects of ongoing litigation and for which judgements had been entered in favour of the owners of the properties, with the court granting a perpetual order restraining the governor or his agents from entering or carting away anything from the affected buildings.
In a suit marked HOW/947/2019, the applicants which included Uloma Rochas Nwosu and three others, Justice Nzeukwu of the Federal High Court, Owerri granted the prayers of the plaintiff, restraining the Imo State Government, its agents and personnel of the now disbanded Imo State Government Committee on Recovery of government properties from entering the premises of the underlisted properties; El-Freeda Foundation, House of Freeda, East High School, East High Academy and others.
Investigations however show that some overzealous agents of the government may have been behind the recent action of going ahead to mark these buildings, despite a standing court order restraining them from doing so.
Barrister Emmanuel Lemchukwu, an attorney based in Owerri dismissed the purported marking of these buildings as a reckless display of power by the State government and argued that the State governor may not be aware of the action.
“It would be most unfortunate if the Governor is aware of this reckless impunity by agents of government. There is a subsisting court order barring the government from entering these properties and it amounts to a government encouraging lawlessness and resort to self-help, which are features of a lawless society, if they authorized these trespassers.”
Efforts made to contact the Attorney-general of the State, Chief C. O. C Akaolisa fell through as calls put to his line was not picked up.
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