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Court declines to stop EFCC, Imo State from confiscating Okorocha’s properties

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Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday refused to grant order of interim injunction sought by former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFFCC and Imo State government to stop them from further interfering and confiscating his properties located in various parts of the country.

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The judge held that granting the order during various challenges to the court jurisdiction in the matter will not been in the interest of justice.

Justice Mohammed rather fixed August 24 to first hear the challenge by EFCC and Imo State that the motion on notice filed by Okorocha cannot be heard during court vacation.

Okorocha on Wednesday in Abuja had asked high court to issue a restraining order against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFFCC and Imo State government.

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The senator currently representing Imo West Senatorial district in the Senate, sought the order of the Court to preserve his properties pending the resolution of court cases ongoing in the matter.

Okorocha had complained that his properties have been marked in several states for confiscation adding that unless the preservative order was issued against EFCC and Imo State, he would be prejudiced.

His motion on notice for the sought court order was filed by his counsel Oba Maduabuchi.

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However, the request was opposed by EFCC and Imo State government on the ground that the court has no jurisdiction to hear Okorocha’s suit.

EFCC and Imo state government are contending that the suit was not the type that can be heard during court vacation.

They further argued that Okorocha did not meet the condition precedent for the matter to be heard during vacation, adding that the fiat of the Chief Judge of the federal high court ought to be sought and obtained before such matter can be heard during vacation.

EFCC and Imo state cited Order 46 Rule 5 of the Federal high court civil procedures Rule 2019 allegedly breached by Okorocha while filing the fresh motion.

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Okorocha, in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/558/2020 filed on May 28, 2020, have EFCC as the 1st respondent, the 2nd to 48th respondents are the Attorney General (AG) of Imo and members of the seven panels set up to probe previous administrations in the state.

Some of the properties listed in the motion include: Eastern Palm University Ogboko; Royal Spring Palm Hotels and Apartments, Akachi Road, Owerri, Imo; Imo Broadcasting Corporation Staff Quarters, Orji or Rochas Foundation College Orji; Public Building Plot B/2 Otamiri South Extension Layout and Magistrate Quarters, Orlu Road /Corporate Office including market square Kilimanjaro.

Others are Plot 5 Naze Residential Layout and all property contained on pages 226 to 272 of the government white paper on the Florence Duruoha Igwe judicial Commission of inquiry into land Administration in Imo State from June 2006 to May 2019.

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