President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to prevail on the planned action by the Imo state Governor, Hope Uzodinma from demolishing some property owned by the family of his immediate predecessor, Rochas Okorocha,
The request is contained in a petition by a lawyer to the ex-governor and now Senator, representing Imo West Senatorial District, Frank Tietie, in which he also urged the governor to abide by existing court orders.
Tietie noted that on March 5, 2021, officials of the Imo State Government marked the property for demolition, adding that demolishing the property would undermine the rule of law through which the Uzodinma rode to power.
“On Friday, the 5th of March, 2021, officials of the Imo State Government marked for demolition, property belonging to the Rochas Okorocha family.
“The governor should lead respect for the rule of law by obeying the standing order of the Imo State High Court and to stop the frustration of the subject matter before the Federal High Court, Owerri.
“It is pertinent to note that all of the property marked for demolition are presently subject to pending litigations.
“Particularly, there is an order of court issued by Hon. Justice T.N. Nzeukwu of the Imo State High Court, in the case of an application for fundamental rights enforcement.
“It was filed by the House of Freeda Ltd, Mrs Uloma Rochas Nwosu & 2 Ors. Vs. the Governor of Imo State, Attorney General & Commissioner of Justice, Imo State & 4 Ors in the suit no: HOW/947/2019),” he said.
Tietie said the court issued a perpetual injunction against the governor and government of Imo State from interfering with the property listed in the application.
The lawyer identified the affected property to include House of Freeda at Km 1, Port Harcourt Road, Owerri; East High College at Area ‘R’, opposite Life Oak Event Centre, New Owerri, Imo State.
Others, he said, were the East High Academy at Area ‘P’, opposite ISOPADEC,, New Owerri; West Brook Hotel Ltd at New Owerri and El Freeda Foundation at Area ‘P,’ opposite ISOPADEC,, New Owerri
“Furthermore, the Eastern Palm University (Imo-European University) is the subject matter of a pending suit at the Federal High Court, Owerri between the Incorporated Trustees of Rochas Foundation, Eastern Palm University, Ogboko as plaintiffs and the Governor of Imo State and 5 Ors as defendants, in suit no: FHC/OW/16/2021 filed on the 5th of February, 2021,” he added.
According to him, the suit seeks a restraining order of injunction against the governor and Government of Imo State with their agents from forcibly taking over possession and ownership of the university.
Tietie argued that Okorocha and his family’s right to own moveable and immovable property, anywhere in Nigeria, including Imo, guaranteed by the Constitution, should be respected by th Imo State Government.
“Such right can neither be extinguished by the whims and caprices of any of government official nor by a fact-finding committee or judicial commission of inquiry.
“Only a court of competent jurisdiction can make a determination as to any detraction of the fundamental right of any Nigerian citizen to own moveable and immovable property in any part of Nigeria.
“Governor Hope Uzodinma, being a huge beneficiary of the rule of law which has made him the present governor of Imo State, must as a matter of avowed commitment to upholding the constitution, immediately cease all actions that would undermine the rule of law as the guarantor of peace and progress in any society,” he said.
Tuetie urged President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami; the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to intervene towards ensuring that the rule of law prevailed.
“The president and the relevant officials of the Nigerian state and Federal Government must act immediately to prevent the abuse of state powers by Governor Hope Uzodinma who is presently consumed and driven by hate, malice and morbid vindictiveness against the person of Senator Rochas Okorocha,” he said.
South-East govs joking with regional security, says ex-Imo senator
A former member of the National Assembly, Athan Achonu, has accused South-East governors of trivialising the region’s security.
Achonu, who represented Imo North at the 8th Senate before he was sacked by a Court of Appeal judgment in Owerri, urged Igbo governors to take over Eastern Security Network from the Indigenous People of Biafra and reform it.
The ex- senator was reacting to the jailbreak in Owerri, as well as the attack on the Imo State Police Command headquarters and the killings in Enugu and Ebonyi States.
He said that the youths were angry with the governments because of lack of employment and business opportunities.
Achonu, who said that he was championing a movement for Igbo billionaires to bring their investments home, said that without security and infrastructure, manufacturing businesses would not thrive in the South-East.
He said, “There is problem in Nigeria. The situation is terrible. Our economy is losing control. Unemployment rate is unbelievable. The worst hit are South-East and South-South. The youths have now been turned into Yahoo boys and drug addicts.”
“Our group will make a presentation to all the South-East governor this April on the need for Igbo billionaires to invest at home. Without local government autonomy, no true democracy will happen in Nigeria.
“South-East governors are joking with Igbo security. They are making the biggest mistake of their lives. They can take ESN and legalise it. There is no security in Nigeria. Kidnapping takes place even in Buhari’s village. Nowhere is safe in Nigeria again.”
Imo jailbreak: FG to pardon escaped inmates who return voluntarily -Aregbesola
Fugitives who escaped from the custodial centre in Owerri, the Imo capital, will be granted amnesty if they return voluntarily, the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has said.
He said this during the inspection of the centre on Tuesday after it was attacked by unknown gunmen.
During the attack, over 1,880 inmates were said to have escaped while 36 stayed back.
According to the minister, escape from custody is unlawful, and a crime.
He explained that if those who escaped return willingly, they will be pardoned from a trial for unlawful escape.
However, they will still be made to face a trial for their actual offence and serve their jail term, if convicted.
He said, “Unlawful escape from custody is a crime but the government in its magnanimity will grant amnesty to prisoners who willfully return.
“They will no longer be charged with an unlawful escape but only for the initial crimes that took them to prison. So we urge all escapees to return before they are caught on the run.”
The minister also described the Monday jailbreak at Owerri Correctional Center and the razing of the Imo State Police Command headquarters as the worst in the recent history of the country.
The ex-governor of Osun State who said that the attackers operated as terrorists, ordered the relocation of Owerri Recreational Club and other structures which he said were posing as a security threat to the premises of the Owerri Custodial Centre.
He said that during the EndSARS protest, custodial centres in Ondo and Osun states were attacked, while an attempt to attack that of Lagos was repelled.
He regretted the targeting of custodial centres in recent times, saying that the federal government would soon roll out adequate measures to protect them.
Aregbesola vowed that those who perpetrated the attack would be apprehended and prosecuted.
BREAKING: Gunmen raze another Imo police station
Gunmen on Tuesday razed the Ehime Mbano Local Government Area Divisional Police Headquarters in Imo State.
This development came just a day after unknown gunmen attacked Owerri Correctional Centre and the Imo State Police Command headquarters, freeing 1,884 inmates and razing over 50 vehicles.
Tuesday’s attack came few hours after the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, the just sacked Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, and other Government functionaries visited the state to inspect the level of damage on the attacked security facilities.
On arrival, the gunmen freed all the suspects in detention before setting the Police Divisional headquarters ablaze.
Our correspondent gathered that the gunmen operated without any resistance from policemen.
A source said, “Gunmen this evening razed Ehime Mbano LGA police divisional headquarters. On arrival, the gunmen freed the suspects before wrecking the havoc.”
A police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, said that he could not confirm the development when he was contacted by our correspondent on Tuesday evening.
But a senior police officer who does not want his name in print said that the Command’s hierarchy was saddened by the latest development.
The PUNCH reports that gunmen had between February and March razed Obowo, Abo Mbaise, Ihitte/ Uboma and Isiala Mbano Divisional Police Headquarters, killings three cops and injuring others.
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