BY Jesupemi Are
Rochas Okorocha, former governor of Imo, has asked the federal high court in Abuja, to make an order setting aside the seizure and sealing of some of his property by the state government.
In February, a high court in Imo had ordered the interim forfeiture of all the properties said to be acquired through “illegal means” by Okorocha.
According to NAN, Okorocha’s request was contained in a motion on notice brought by Oba Maduabuchi, lawyer to the former Imo governor, on Tuesday.
The motion was dated June 25, 2021.
The former Imo governor also asked Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, to restrain the defendants from investigating him or implementing the recommendations of the panels set up to probe previous administrations in the state, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Okorocha, in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/558/2020 filed on May 28, 2020, had asked the court to restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and others from probing him.
EFCC is the first respondent, while the second to 48th respondents are the attorney-general (AG) of Imo and members of the seven panels probing past state governments.
However, only the EFCC was represented in court on Tuesday.
Maduabuchi told the court that the latest application sought a restoration of the status quo, despite the white paper issued by the state government panels.
He noted that despite the service of the motion on the second to 48th defendants, none of them appeared in court.
“It is surprising that the attorney-general of the state, who was served processes in the suit since last year, has not filed anything,” he said.
Maduabuchi said immediately an order of stay of proceedings against the panels was granted by the court, the state government panels quickly accelerated their proceedings and concluded their findings.
“Copies of the white paper issued by the panels were exhibited in the application,” he said.
The lawyer said the anti-graft agency had always been in court and had since filed its defence.
“For the attorney-general the panels, we can go to hell. But I know my lord is not completely powerless,” he said.
G.C. Ofulue, counsel to the EFCC, did not oppose Maduabuchi’s application.
Mohammed adjourned the matter until July 15 for hearing in the plaintiff’s motion on notice.
He also ordered that hearing notices be issued to the second to 48th defendants.