…Moves to demolish family property in Owerri
There are very strong indications that the government of Imo State has advanced plans to demolish properties said to belong to the family of Senator Rochas Okorocha, former governor of the state in Owerri, inspite of a subsisting judgement of the High Court of Imo State stopping further trespass on the said properties by agents of the state.
Zainab Mohammed, Adviser on Public Affairs to the former Imo State governor raised the alarm Sunday, in Abuja ,saying the family has incontrovertible evidence to believe that some overzealous agents of the State may have marked some of the family’s properties for demolition in the coming days and weeks..
Justice T. N Nzeukwu, the presiding judge, had in a ruling delivered on September 7,2020 granted prayers of the Applicants and declared that the forced entry of agents of the governor into House of FREEDA was illegal and a violation of their fundamental rights.
The suit marked HOW/947/2019 was brought pursuant to the enforcement fundamental human right of House of FREEDA Limited, Mrs Uloma Rochas Nwosu and two others where the plaintiffs challenged the forced entry and seizure of property belonging to the family.
Justice Nzeukwu who also slammed N240 million awards for damages and another N20 million for the assault on her person specifically barred agents of the state government from further trespass on the properties.
Listed among six respondents in the judgement, certified true copy of which was obtained by this newspaper, include the Governor of Imo State, Attorney General of Imo State and Minister of Justice, Chairman, Imo State Committee on recovery of government property, Commissioner of Police, Imo State and two others.
In his ruling Justice T. N Nzeukwu specifically declared that “An order of perpetual injunction is hereby made restraining the respondents from further threatening, beating up, wounding torturing the applicants and /or abusively handling any staff of the applicants.
Justice Nzeukwu also gave an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents, their agents, privies, workmen or anyone mandated by the respondent from entering the property.
Ms Mohammed who brandished the court judgement before journalists wondered why the Imo government is progressing in error.
“To now imagine that the government of Imo State is contemplating demolition of the same properties that was subject of litigation and judgement delivered by a competent court, is absurd to say the least” she declared.
She also expressed doubt that the governor who benefitted from a ruling of the Supreme court could turn around to ignore a decision of the court.
“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.”
Asked to explain how she got information about the impending demolition Ms Mohammed explained that she was in possession of a video where agents of the government ordered the removal of the structures in the affected areas within seven days of the action.