Judge Blasts Okorocha’s Lawyers Insists Okorocha Must Pay Ilomuanya 10m
Apparently not happy with the appeal brought by Governor Rochas Okorocha against the judgment of the Federal High Court, Owerri, which ordered him to pay HRM, Eze (DR.) Cletus Ilomuanya N10 Million as damages, for unlawfully directing thugs to invade the monarch’s residence in Owerri, the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division, on Wednesday, cautioned Lawyers under the employment of Imo State Government to stop ridiculing themselves in defence of any act of impunity or lawlessness by their employers.
In dismissing Okorocha’s appeal which it described as “exhibition of raw government might, lawlessness and condemnable”, the appellate court further ordered Okorocha and his men to pay Eze Ilomuanya additional N.1 million as cost, for bringing the unmeritorious appeal against him. The court admonished the Imo State Attorney General and other State Counsels not to be intimidated by anybody into accepting cases that ridicule them. “In the alternative, resign and go elsewhere and continue your legal practice”, the court advised.
The court expressed surprise at the defence of the Imo Attorney General in support of the August 5,2011 unlawful invasion of Eze Ilomuanya ‘s residence, pointing out that his defence “was strange and flawed in law and reasoning” . While throwing away the Attorney General’s submissions, the three Justices unanimously held that Okorocha’s directive for thugs to invade Eze Ilomuanya’s residence was not predicated on any known law. According to them, the Attorney General did not even deny that Okorcha ordered the illegal invasion but rather he tried to justify it.
“The action of the governor and his men against the first respondent (Eze Ilomuanya), who is chairman of South East Council of Traditional Rulers, is humiliating and intolerable considering his status. It is sad that such lawlessness was being promoted by those in power without recourse to law,” the appellate court said.
The court affirmed the earlier judgment of the Federal High Court which ordered Okorocha to pay N10 million to Eze Ilomuanya, stressing that the August 5, 2011 invasion of the monarch’s residence in Owerri under the directive of Okorocha during which three cars were forcefully removed, was an act of intimidation. “Those in power should be mindful of flaunting their powers arrogantly.” The court cautioned.
This is the 15th consecutive time, Eze Ilomuanya, who is the Obi of Obinugwu Kingdom in Orlu L.G.A, Imo State and also Chancellor, Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, has floored the governor in court since 2011 when hostilities between the two gladiators began. Legal pundits described this development as “worrisome and damaging to the governor’s public image”, adding that the governor should retrace his steps.
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