As suspect gets N600,000 bail condition

There tend to be conflict of interests between the family of late Ferdinand Anghara and the Imo state government over ownership of Imo Rubber Company Limited, with Rubber Estate at Obitti in Owerri West LGA.

Speaking with our correspondent at the Owerri High court Premises,yesterday, the counsel to the claimant, Barr C.A.N Osondu expressed shock that the Imo State government could go ahead to arrest his client,Chika Anaghara, also heir apparent to late Ferdinand Anaghara for no just cause. 

He stated that his client has been asked to consent to a willful forfeiture of the Imo Rubber Estate in which late Chief Anghara is the majority shareholder so as to be paid N100million otherwise, he will have the government to contend with, in the new conspiracy to appropriate the sprawling estate.

Nigeria Watchdog Newspaper gathered that late Chief Ferdinand Anaghara had bought 70 percent equity share of the company and had operated and enjoyed it’s benefits till 2011 when Rochas Okorocha as governor of Imo State forcefully took over the company.

Thereafter, the family went to court and got judgment in their favour. In spite of the Appeal court judgment which affirmed earlier judgment by the Federal High Court, agents of Imo State government last week arrested Mr. Chika Anaghara, first son of the late Urualla Ideato North LGA born foremost industrialist on trumped up allegations.

It would be recalled that the Federal High Court sitting in Owerri had in 2011 delivered a judgment In favour of Anghara’s family in a suit filed on 29th September  2011, with suit No FHC/OW/CS/253/2011 between Imo Rubber Estate Limited and Attorney General of Imo State, Commissioner For Agriculture of Imo state, Chief Don Okwu and Commissioner of Police, Imo state  wherein the claimant (Imo Rubber Company LTD) sought the determination on two questions; whether the defendants acting in Concert,Purportedly on behalf of the Imo State Government which has the minority shares in the said Imo Rubber Estate Limited can Unilaterally take over or in any way interfere in the processes of the plaintiff which is a Limited liability company having district legal personality from the shareholders including the Imo State Government.

Secondly, having regard to privatization of Imo Rubber Estates Limited (The plaintiff) and which the shares and 2 others were defendants, the Bank of Industry sought an order of the court for rectification of mortgage Debenture by the claimant, Bank of Industry (BoI) but failed.

It was on this basis the state government later appealed the judgment in Suit number CA/OW/287/2016 and the court presided over by justices RN Pemu, IG Mbaba, IA Andenyangsto on May 10,2019  affirmed the judgment of the lower court. 

In its ruling on the matter ITA G. Mbaba of the Federal Court of Appeal on May 15, 2019, after hearing the substantive suit and considering the evidences and addresses of counsels, held that, it was not denied that the Imo State government promoted and incorporated the Imo Rubber Estates out of the former Imo State Agricultural Development Company (Imo ADC) in 1989, which is an assertion of the fact of privatization. He therefore asked the Imo State government to allow Imo Rubber Estates for the true and genuine ownership and management of the company.

 By 2019,the Imo state government under Rochas Okorocha sought the Supreme Courts intervention in his bid to appropriate the company. In a suit SC/1210/2019, expressed dissatisfaction with the judgment of the Court of Appeal Owerri Division, of May 10, 2019. In the appeal at the Supreme Court, Imo State were merely a management consultant appointed for the Estate for a period of five years in the first instance. It went further to accuse the managing consultants of breaching the contract agreement when they failed to make remittances of the agreed premium to the government and accused the management consultants of running the estates to unproductive state and abandonment. 

A source who pleaded anonymity said:”Upon coming to power, Hope Uzodinma, through his agents approached Anaghara because of his personal interest in acquiring the company which he said has gone moribund and stripped of all machinery and equipment. With Obinna Anaghara objecting to this incursion he was immediately arrested and detained. Next he was arraigned in a Magistrate with intention to force him to play ball. Unfortunately his lawyer quickly intervened to get him out of jail while the suit subsists at the Supreme Court”.    

Meanwhile, the Magistrate, Mr DO Okoroji yesterday granted bail to Mr. Obinna Anaghara who was arrested, allegedly  by the Imo state government following a conflict of interest between the family of late Ferdinand Anaghara and the Imo state government over ownership of Imo Rubber Company Limited.Mr. Chika Anaghara was granted bail by the presiding Magistrate in Court 1 at the cost of 600 hundred thousand naira and two shortees or in likesome.