-Insists verdict will not stand
By Martin Nwoko
The Former governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha has expressed displeasure at the way and manner Justice Fred Njemanze of the Owerri High Court who will be going on retirement on August 11, 2021 hurriedly delivered judgment yesterday 10th August, 2021 ordering the final and absolute forfeiture of Royal Palm Springs and Apartments and all other properties contained in pages 226 to 272 of the Imo State Government White Paper on recovery of lands and properties belonging to Imo State.
Speaking through his lead Counsel in the matter, Oba Maduabuchi SAN, disclosed that they were in court last Tuesday where they argued on the objections he raised on the processes filed by Imo State Government through its defense council, Mr Louis Alozie SAN and the judge said he will reserve his ruling meaning that no particular day was fixed for final ruling.
Counsel to Okorocha also stated that Mr Louis Alozie SAN last Tuesday requested the court to allow Okorocha’s team to adopt their various processes so that the judge can deliver a ruling and judgment if need be.
The legal luminary argued that as at 6th August, 2021, when the court was supposed to sit, to adopt the preliminary objections in the matter but the court did not sit sighting that the judge was indisposed to entertain the matter. Oba Maduabuchi further revealed that it was later agreed between all parties involved in the case to sit tomorrow 11 August, 2021 due to the IPOB stay at home order.
He reiterated that Justice Fred Njemanze went ahead to sit on the matter yesterday without any communication to him and his team because he arrived Owerri today against tomorrow’s sitting.
Okorocha’s lawyer expressed surprise at the attitude of the judge who delivered judgment on the matter, dismissed his preliminary objections and made his order absolute.
He further argued that the crux of his preliminary objection was that the properties which the state government wants Senator Okorocha to forefit were all subject of litigations pending in various courts as far back as 2019 and some in 2020.
Speaking further, Okorocha’s lead counsel stressed that he and his team will appeal the judgment and will not in any way allow it to stand.