Ex Gov Okorocha lose bid to stop demolition of his houses in Owerri

  • As Court declines issuing interim restraining order

The vacation judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja Justice Ahmed Mohammed on Wednesday declined to grant an interim order stopping the Imo State government from demolishing marked houses  belonging to the former governor Rochas Okorocha in Owerri the state capital. 

Justice Mohammed refused Okorocha pleading through his lawyer, Oba Maduabuchi  that his client properties have been marked for demolition and that there was an urgent need to preserve the subject matter of the  substantive suit.

Okorocha  had  sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), 1st defendant, the Attorney general for Imo State 2nd defendant and all the members of seven different panels set by Imo State government  who were listed as 3rd to 48 defendants from sealing and seizing  his properties.
But all the defendants through their lawyer challenged the jurisdiction of the vacation judge to hear Okorocha motion when his  substantive suit had been adjourned by a regular court to September 22, 2021.
Ruling on Okorocha’s lawyer oral application after two hours of arguments by the lawyers to the parties, Justice Mohammed stated that it was clear that the bone of contention was whether the court can make an order when issue of jurisdiction is still pending.
“My simple response is that since making an order is akin to remotely assuming jurisdiction, the court can not make the order as requested by the applicant . ” 
“I adjourn this matter to August 24 to hear applications challenging the jurisdiction to hear the matter during vacation.
When the matter was called on Wednesday, Oba Maduabuchi (SAN) hadtold the court that the Chief Judge approved his application for the motion to be taken by the vacation judge.
All the  defendants lawyers said they were not served with the motion .

Maduabuchi SAN agreed with them and stated that “all the defence counsel have said that they have not be served except Olusola Oke SAN. I assumed that they have not been served. That is why they are questioning the matter that was brought forward.

According to him, “the substantive suit remained adjourned to 22 September.It has not been recalled.
There was an application to CJ who instructed the judge to hear the matter during vacation, he explained.