9th August, 2021
By Muhaimin Olowoporoku
Former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has failed in his bid to stop the Imo state government seize assets believed to have been corruptly acquired while in office.
A High Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State on Monday endorsed the forfeiture of the over 500 assets.
Justice Fred Njemanze who gave the ruling ordered that Royal Palm Springs Hotel and other properties, which belong to Okorocha and his family be taken over by the Hope Uzodimma government.
The ruling came in a case between Imo Attorney General and Nkechi Rochas Okorocha, Incorporated Trustees of Rochas Foundation and Senator Rochas Anayo Okorocha.
Justice Njemanze in the ruling held that Okorocha’s counsel did not give concrete and verifiable reasons why a final and absolute forfeiture order should not be given in favour of the Imo government.
He also held that a suit by the former governor against the state was not filed properly.
All the assets the former governor would forfeit are listed on pages 226 to 272 of the Imo Government White Paper, following the report of a Judicial Commission of Enquiry on Recovery of Lands and other related matters.
The Judge said the White Paper by the Imo Government is a legally binding document.
Oba Maduabuchi, lead counsel to Okorocha described the judgment as “perfidy of justice.”
He said even a primary school pupil knows that the judgment could not stand.
Maduabuchi said he was surprised that a judgment has been delivered.
Counsel to Okorocha’s wife, Oba Maduagwu, SAN, also said the order was an abuse of court procedure.