Former Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, on Sunday, alerted the public to a plot by the Governor Hope Uzodimma-led administration to demolish a number of property belonging to members of his family.
He said this action was being planned despite a subsisting judgment of the High Court of Imo State stopping further trespass on the said property by agents of the state.
Zainab Mohammed, Okorocha’s Adviser on Public Affairs, said the family “has incontrovertible evidence to believe that some overzealous agents of the state may have marked some of the family’s property for demolition in the coming days and weeks.”
Mohammed has, therefore, alerted the police and security agencies in the state to the impending lawless act.
She warned that should such move crystalise, it would be in flagrant disregard of judgment of court delivered on September 7, 2020.
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 of fundamental human rights 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 award 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, were 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 ehy the Imo State Government was 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 round 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.”
The property at issue House of FREEDA situated at KM1 Port Harcourt Rd, beside Great wood Hotel, East High College , East High Academy, West Brook Hotel Ltd, El FREEDA Foundation, all located in various parts of Owerri, the Imo State Capital.
Asked to explain how she got information about the impending demolition, 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.