Hell was let loose at Naze in Owerri North LGA of Imo State on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, when court officials and officers of the Nigerian Police garrisoned Empire Energy Mega Petroleum Filling Station, situate along Aba road Owerri, in a bid to seal up the business premises in execution of a High Court judgement,ceding the entire multi billion naira investment to the original owners of the property, “New Chidicon Medical Centre Utra Modern Hospital”.
The Managing Director and Proprietor of the hospital, Dr Philip Njemanze had challenged the illegal acquisition of his property by ex-governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who had revoked the Certificate of Occupancy and allegedly allocated the sprawling acres of land to himself through a proxy simply identified by our source as Comrade Beneth Okorie, “who immediately registered Empire Energy Oil and Gas Industry through which they invested what could pass for the alleged missing Imo treasury in the estate now scattered all over Nigeria with the first fuel filling station at Aguneze Ahiara by Alike Obowo boundary along Umuahia-Owerri highway”.
According to Dr Philip Njemanze, who in his capacity as Chairman of African Anti-Abortion Coalition, had vigorously protested and masterminded the aggressive campaign against the signing into law of an abortion bill of the Imo State House of Assembly paradoxically called violence against persons (prohibitions) law No 12 of 2012. The campaign and protests orchestrated by Dr Njemanze obviously forced Rochas Okorocha and the 7th Imo State House of Assembly to repeal the Imo State Abortion law.
“As a reprisal for my anti-abortion stance and pro-active roles in educating Imolites on the need to reject the law albeit vehemently, Okorocha confiscated the Naze property and within a twinkle of an eye, re-allocated and developed the land into a mega filling station and state of the art engineering workshop, using his Special Assistant on Petroleum Products Task Force, who is of Obowo LGA origin”.
As a prince and blue blood scion of the famous Njemanze Owerre Nchi-Ise Royal family, an undeterred and unrelenting anti-abortionist, proceeded to an Owerri High Court to challenge the unwarranted, unlawful and provocative confiscation of his hard earned personal property which at this time, had been demolished.
On the 28th of November, 2019, Justice N.B Ukoha, entered judgement in his favour in the suit NO:HOW 919/2012 filed on the 3rd day of December 2012, through his Counsel, K.C.O Njemanze (SAN). Incidentally, the 5th and 6th defendants, simply identified as Hon Robbertson Ekwebelem and his Royal Rondele Nig Ltd, refused to defend their case despite hearing notices duly served on them and that was after hearing the evidence of the plaintiff, and the Governor of Imo State, his Attorney General, Commissioner for Lands, Uche Nwosu and the Rescue Mission Administration and 1-3 defendants.
In his ruling, Justice N.B Ukoha entered judgement in favour of the plaintiff, Dr Philip Njemanze, declaring that, “the plaintiff is the rightful holder of the statutory right of occupancy in and over the developed property known as and called Plot C, in parcel B, within Naze road North and new Naze Industrial Layout, Owerri North LGA, which is subject of Certificate of Occupancy, dated 19/11/2015 and registered as No 46 at page 46 in volume 308 of the lands registry Owerri”. The Judge also averred that the purported revocation or determination of the statutory Certificate of Occupancy dated 19/1/1995, and registered as No 46 at page 46 in volume 308 of the lands Registry in the office at Owerri vide revocation order, dated 24/5/2013, is null and void, illegal, unlawful, vindictive and therefore of no effect.
He declared that the revocation order made under the hand of then Commissioner for lands, Survey and Urban Development, Uche Nwosu, dated 24/5/2013 in respect of plot C, in parcel B, with Naze road North and New Naze Industrial Layout Owerri, is hereby set aside.
That the defendants, their servants, agents, officers and hirelings in whatever manner are hereby perpetually restrained from entering or further trespassing on the plaintiff’s property known as plot C parcel B subject of Certificate of Occupancy, dated 19/1,1995 and registered as 46/46/308 of the Lands Registry Owerri in consequence of a purported order of Revocation, dated 24/5/2013.
That the 5th and 6th defendants shall pay to the plaintiff the sum of N5,000,000 (Five Million Naira) only for general damages. That the counter claim of the 5th and 6th defendants is hereby dismissed and reverted perpetual ownership to Dr Philip Njemanze, his privies, servants, hirelings, agents and officers.