Former Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha, has said that the interim forfeiture of his property to the present administration in the state was belated and an afterthought only meant to cover their mistakes.
Okorocha said that it had only exposed the double standard of the government in power.
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The former governor in a statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media) Sam Onwuemeodo, said that the action has only “added fibre to our claim of vendetta, hatred, envy and conspiracy.”
The statement said, “On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, the Imo State Government, with Chief Hope Uzodinma, as governor, through the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief C.O.C Akaolisa deceived one of the most thorough and highly respected Judges in the State Judiciary, Hon. Justice Fred Njemanze into granting an Interim Order of forfeiture of the ten properties they listed and owned by Senator Rochas Okorocha’s family.
“Let us first and foremost, describe the Interim Order of forfeiture as belated, an after-thought and deceitful. It has further exposed the double-standard of what we have in Imo today as a State Government. And equally strengthened our consistent claim that what is happening in Imo is a clear case of vendetta, envy, hatred and conspiracy by the state government against Okorocha and his family.
“On Monday, February 22, 2021, a day after the Royal Palm Hotel incident, the governor, Chief Uzodinma met with President Mohammed Buhari. After the meeting, he met with the State House Correspondents. While briefing them, he said that Okorocha distorted the Owerri Master plan with the Royal Palm Hotel. He also talked about the mystery whitepaper as the tool on which they had relied on to invade and loot Okorocha’s properties.
“The same Monday, the Commissioner for Lands, Chief Enyinnaya Onuegbu also told the world, while on Channels Television that the Royal Palm Hotel distorted the Owerri Master plan. While the fence and gate of the Reach FM Radio were pulled down because they blocked the road.
Why the order is an afterthought
“But in their application for an Interim Order of forfeiture last Wednesday, they never talked about the distortion of the Owerri Master plan again. They talked about illegally acquired properties. This is why the order is an afterthought, belated and deceitful.
“And with this Court order after they had invaded, looted and destroyed the properties in question leveraging on the whitepaper, it only showed that they had acted wrongly, arbitrarily and unlawfully right from the outset.
“In other words, Gov. Uzodinma had admitted that he had acted earlier without the needed Court Order. It also proved that before the Court Order, they had acted arbitrarily. They have accepted too that they needed the Court Order and not the whitepaper, to do all they had done,” the statement added.
Okorocha said Uzodinma’s government also deceived the Court to give them an Order of interim forfeiture because they never let the Judge know that there has been an existing and valid High Court Judgement on the properties.
“In Suit No: HOW/947/2019, Hon. Justice T.N. Nzeukwu gave Judgement on these Properties on Monday, September 7, 2020. We are not talking about Interim Order, but Judgement. And after looking at the facts on ground, restrained the State Government and its agents over these properties,” the statement added.