A High Court sitting in Owerri has ordered the final forfeiture of properties allegedly owned by former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha and his family members.
Justice Fred Njemanze who gave the ruling on Monday, said there was no verifiable reasons before him that the properties should not be forfeited to the State Government and that the white paper gazette covering the land matters remained a legal binding document.
“Concrete and verifiable reasons why a final and absolute forfeiture order should not be given in favour of the Imo state government and that Imo government can go ahead and do whatever it deems fit to do with the properties.”
Recall that on 26 February, Justice Njemanze, gave an interim forfeiture order, following an application brought before it by the Imo state government council, Louis Alozie, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.
The forfeited properties are contained in pages 226 to 272 of the Imo state Government white paper report by a Judicial Commission of Enquiry on Recovery of Lands and other related matters.
However, Okorocha’s council, Oba Maduabuchi, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, reacted by stating his shock on the judgement.
He said, “I’m baffled, at court on Friday, a text message came from the judge that he would deliver his ruling on Monday or Tuesday, so because of the sit-at-home order by IPOB we agreed for Tuesday, I was surprise when my colleague rushed into the room and told me that they have delivered a ruling, not just ruling but a judgment.
“We had earlier on Tuesday argued the objections I raised on the processes filled by Imo government, the judge said he reserved his ruling when ruling is reserved it means that no particular date is fixed but when it’s ready parties are informed.” Maduabuchi said.