Former Governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha, and his family have been ordered not to sell or alienate any of the properties that were the subject of an interim order of the court pending the conclusion of investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Justice J. K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Friday.
The Court directed the Applicants to, on or before September 17, 2019, depose to an affidavit of undertaking and adjourned to September 27, 2019 for report.
The judge gave the Consequential Order while vacating the July 25, 2019 Interim Order forfeiting five properties owned by Okorocha and his family to the Federal Government.
The properties are: Rochas Foundation College, Owerri; All in 1 Shopping Mall; East High Academy; East High College; and Royal Spring Palm Hotel & Apartments.
The Registered Trustees of Rochas Foundation College, All-in Limited, Royal Spring Palm Apartments Limited, Registered Trustees of Women of Divine Destiny Initiative and Uluoma Okorocha Nwosu had challenged the order on August 8 through five separate motion on notice praying the Court to vacate the interim forfeiture order.
The Commission in response filed Counter Affidavits to the motions of the Applicants on August 19, 2019.
On August 21, 2019 when the case came up for hearing, the Applicants informed the court that they were served with the Commission’s Counter Affidavits and asked for an adjournment, which was granted by court.
When the case came up on September 9, 2019 for hearing of the Motions, the Applicants filed Further Affidavits and in reply to these Further Affidavits, the Commission filed Counter Affidavits and served them same day.
However, Applicants’ Counsel, Okey Amechi (SAN) informed Justice Omotosho that they were just served and the court adjourned the case to September 11, 2019 for hearing.
After the Court sitting, the Applicants’ served the Commission with a 2nd Further Affidavit at precisely 11:21am.
On September12, 2019, Counsel to the Commission informed the Court that the Applicants had served him with their 2nd Further Affidavit and that he would need time to respond.
The Court gave the Commission till September,13, 2019 to file its Counter Affidavits, failing which it will make a consequential order.
This was after counsel to the applicants had drawn the attention of the court to the nature of the properties, one of which is a school, which was scheduled to resume in September.
On Friday when the matter came up, Counsel to the Commission informed the Court that he is yet to file his Counter Affidavits and the Court issued the consequential order vis-à-vis the nature of the properties involved.
The EFCC in a statement said it is studying the consequential order of the court.