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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The Interim Court Order Of Forfeiture Got By Imo Govt. Against Okorocha Remains An After-Thought, Belated & Deceitful



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– It Has Only Exposed The Double Standard Or Deceit Of The Govt. In Imo & Can Neither Fly Nor Stand.

– And It Has Also Added Fiber To Our Claim Of Vendetta, Hatred, Envy & Conspiracy.

On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, the Imo State Government, with Chief Hope Uzodinma, as governor, through the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief C.O.C Akaolisa deceived one of the most thorough and highly respected Judges in the State Judiciary, Hon. Justice Fred Njemanze into granting an Interim Order of forfeiture of the ten properties they listed and owned by Senator Rochas Okorocha’s family.

Let us first and foremost, describe the Interim Order of forfeiture as belated, an after-thought and deceitful. It has further exposed the double-standard of what we have in Imo today as a State Government. And equally strengthened our Consistent claim that, what is happening in Imo is a clear Case of Vendetta, envy, hatred and Conspiracy by the State government against Okorocha and his family.

On Monday, February 22, 2021, a day after the Royal Palm Hotel incident, the governor, Chief Uzodinma met with President Mohammed Buhari. After the meeting, he met with the State House Correspondents. While briefing them, he said that Okorocha distorted the Owerri Master plan with the Royal Palm Hotel. He also talked about the mystery Whitepaper as the tool on which they had relied on to invade and loot Okorocha’s properties.

The same Monday, the Commissioner for Lands, Chief Enyinnaya Onuegbu also told the world, while on Channels Television that the Royal Palm Hotel distorted the Owerri Master plan. While the fence and gate of the Reach FM Radio were pulled down because they blocked the road.

But in their application for an Interim Order of forfeiture last Wednesday, they never talked about the distortion of the Owerri Master plan again. They talked about illegally acquired properties. This is why the order is an afterthought, belated and deceitful. And with this Court order after they had invaded, looted and destroyed the properties in question leveraging on the Whitepaper, it only showed that they had acted wrongly, arbitrarily and unlawfully right from the outset.

In other words, Gov. Uzodinma had admitted that he had acted earlier without the needed Court Order. It also proved that before the Court Order, they had acted arbitrarily. They have accepted too that they needed the Court Order and not the whitepaper, to do all they had done.

Governor Uzodinma’s government also deceived the Court to give them an Order of interim forfeiture because they never let the Judge know that there has been an existing and valid High Court Judgement on the properties. In Suit No: HOW/947/2019, Hon. Justice T.N. Nzeukwu gave Judgement on these Properties on Monday, September 7, 2020. We are not talking about Interim Order, but Judgement. And after looking at the facts on ground, restrained the State Government and its agents over these Properties.

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Nigerians should also recall that long before now, following baskets of petitions written by the State Government to EFCC and ICPC against Okorocha, over these properties, on July 25, 2019, the EFCC got an Interim Order of forfeiture from a Federal High Court in Port-Harcourt in Suit No: FHC/PH/MISC/93/2019 and also sealed these properties. The Federal Government was the Applicant, with Okorocha and others as the Respondents.

After thorough investigation and after detaching the facts from falsehood, on Friday, September 13, 2019, His Lordship, Hon. Justice J.K. Omotosho vacated the Interim Order of forfeiture granted to EFCC on July 25, 2019. What we have in Imo now as a government, never let Hon. Justice Njemanze to know of these developments.

On February 10, 2021, the Destiny Solicitors, with A.O. Amagwula as Head of Chambers, specifically wrote to the Commissioner for Lands, Chief Enyinnaya Onuegbu, drawing his attention to a “Pending Matter in the Federal High Court, Owerri, with Suit No: FHC/OW/CS/146/2019, between the Federal Government and Rochas Anayo Okorocha and others involving these properties, including the Royal Palm Hotel. In the letter, Barr. Amagwula informed him that the matter came up last in December 2020, and was adjourned to 2nd and 3rd March, 2021. The letter was copied to the Attorney-General of the State. And in each Case, acknowledged.

Yet, on Monday, February 15, 2021, the same Commissioner, a lawyer who should know better, invaded the Royal Palm Hotel and said he had sealed it. Then, the ugly event of Sunday, February 21, 2021 at the place, that would have claimed life.

The question now is, with all these existing Court Cases and Judgement on the same issues, was it proper for the State to get a fresh Interim Court Order of forfeiture on the same Properties? We do not think so. It all showed desperation on the part of the government to get at Okorocha.

At the place the Royal Palm Hotel is located, was a thick forest. Okorocha Constructed the Akachi road that opened the area. And to further beautify the State Capital, allocated the place to Nigerians, including sons and daughters of Imo State. More than 200 plots are there. The Royal Palm Hotel is one plot only. Then who are those who own the rest of the plots and properties? And why is the government not talking about those ones? And that is the reason they have dropped the claim of distortion of Owerri Master plan. In the Case of distortion of Master plan, you demolish but the story of distortion is not true and cannot be true. You do not also seal and take over in the circumstance.  They cannot afford to demolish the properties of Nigerians especially Imo people who invested at the place. We are only exposing their deceit and falsehood.

There is also a reason governor Uzodinma’s government cannot make public the panels’ reports and the so-called Whitepaper. The fact is that, the government has characteristically doctored, to a very large extent, the Panels’ reports and has produced COVID-19 infested Whitepaper on them. We have been hearing about the Whitepaper, but nobody has seen a Copy. The government in Imo is strange and has continued to act strangely. Let them publish verbatim, the Panels’ reports and the Whitepaper, for all men and women of goodwill to see.

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Governor Uzodinma was sworn in as governor on January 15, 2020. That is to say, he has stayed 14 months in office. That is not the issue. The issue is that for the 14 months, Okorocha has remained the issue or programme of the administration. Either the government is demolishing Okorocha’s projects, or is invading or sealing Okorocha’s properties.

It is also interesting to note that, out of the ten properties they applied for forfeiture, only two, the Eastern Palm University and Royal Palm Hotel could be said to be the real properties. The rest are mostly Schools running free education, with most of the Students being indigent Children. Then, the follow up question would be, where are the much talked about illegally acquired properties by Okorocha and family?

We are going to elaborately state our own Case for Nigerians and all interested Parties to know the pitiable level a government can go to carry out Vendetta and Conspiracy, out of envy and hatred.

Finally, we want to assure all and sundry that, governor Uzodinma cannot win this war of attrition he has launched against Okorocha, because, before God and before man, truth is Sacred, while falsehood is a profane. Truth lives, while falsehood dies within a very short period.

Gov. Uzodinma should apologize to Nigerians for deceiving them, with the Court Order he has just deemed necessary now, after his story of the Whitepaper and distortion of Master plan.

And all those who have been following events in Imo, even since its creation in 1976, should be worried about certain developments in the State today, occasioned by inept government. Before now, Imo was adjudged the most peaceful State in the Country. But within Chief Uzodinma’s 14 months old government, Imo has lost that peaceful tag or status. And for the first time in the life of the State, you hear about security agents clashing with IPOB members, Police Stations being burnt, lawyers being murdered, Pensioners being flogged, workers on protest being arrested and detained, Journalists being beaten, and so on. What happens in the remaining years, is what nobody can predict. But, may God be with us.

To say the least, the Interim Court Order Hon. Justice Njemanze was deceived into giving Governor Uzodinma, cannot stand. It cannot fly. It died on arrival because you do not build a 5-storey building on sinking sand. Thank you.       

Sam Onwuemeodo

Special Adviser (Media) to the former Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha  

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