Okorocha’s application to stop the EFCC and the Imo government from seizing his properties was denied by the court.


The Federal High Court’s Abuja Division yesterday turned down a request by Rochas Okorocha, the former governor of Imo State, for an order of interim injunction to prevent the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Imo State government from seizing his assets based on reports from various panels investigating alleged financial infractions he committed while in office.

Mr. Oba Maduabuchi, SAN, Okorocha’s counsel, urged the court to compel all parties to preserve status quo awaiting the outcome of an action titled FHC/ABJ/CS/558/2020, which he filed to dispute his inquiry by both the EFCC and the Imo State government. Okorocha is presently the Senator for Imo West.

The beleaguered former governor accused the Imo State administration of plotting to take his assets during the ongoing yearly holiday of the courts by relying on findings from different panels of inquiry that were formed against him.

He particularly requested that the court issue an injunction prohibiting the Defendants, their agents, employees, and/or privies from adopting, continuing to execute, or otherwise giving effect to the recommendations of the following committees established by the lmo State Government.

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“From 2006 until 2017, the Honourable Justice B. C Iheaka led the lmo State Panel on Contracts Award.

“The Honourable Justice Florence Duruoha lgwe chairs the judicial panel on lands and related matters.

“Panel on ISOPADEC operations, chaired by Chief R. C. O. Ezeogu.

Professor Judge Njoku chairs a panel examining the status of newly formed tertiary institutions.

Dr. Abraham Nwankwo heads a panel to examine financial activities in the state of Imo.

Mr. Okey Anyanwu chairs the “Committee to Review Appointments, Recruitment, and Related Matters from 2015 to the Present.”

Eze Duru Iheoma (SAN) chairs the “Committee for the Investigation of LGA and Counselors.”

The numerous committees, Okorocha said the court, were formed after the Imo state government supported various petitions filed against him with the EFCC.

He claimed that unless the court interfered, the Defendants would take action against his property, leaving his lawsuit moot.

“That the Defendants would have fully followed all of the different committees’ recommendations, rendering this entire case moot and academic,” Okorocha said.

While the EFCC and the Attorney General of Imo State were named as the first and second defendants, 10 members of the Justice B.C. Iheaka-led probe panel on contract awards from May 2006 to May 2017 and members of the Justice Florence Duroha Igwe-led Judicial Commission on Lands and Related Matters were named as the third to 48 defendants in the case.

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Members of the panel to investigate ISOPADEC’s activities, members of the panel to investigate the status of newly established tertiary institutions, members of the investigative committee for financial transactions in Imo State, the Committee for the Review of Appointments, Recruitments, and Related Matters from 2015 to date, and the Committee for the Investigation of LG are among the other defendants.

Meanwhile, when the case came up for hearing yesterday, several of the defendants informed the court that they had filed petitions challenging the court’s authority to hear the case during vacation.

The defendants claimed that Okorocha violated required criteria in Order 46 Rule 5 of the FHC Civil Procedure Rules, 2019, which would have permitted the court to hear the case while it was on vacation.

They asked that their claim, which challenges the court’s jurisdiction, be decided first, before Okorocha’s application is considered.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed concurred with the Defendants in his judgment and denied Okorocha’s request for a preservation order over his assets.

According to Justice Mohammed, making such an order means the court has already taken jurisdiction over the case.

As a result, he delayed the case until August 24 to consider all of the motions challenging the Court’s jurisdiction.

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