An Imo State high court has granted an application by the state government for an interim forfeiture of property allegedly illegally acquired by former Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha, and members of his family while in office as governor of the state.
Justice Ezeohiri Njamanze gave the order following an application filed by Louis Alozie (SAN), on behalf of the government.
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The suit, with case No. HOW/191/2021, has Mrs. Nkechi Okorocha, Incorporated Trustees of Rochas Foundation and Senator Rochas Okorocha as 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents with the attorney general of Imo state as plaintiff/applicant.
In a motion ex parte brought pursuant to Section 472(1) of the Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law No. 2 of 2020, Alozie applied for interim forfeiture of the following property allegedly acquired by Okorocha illegally: Eastern Palm University, Ogboko; Royal Spring Palm Hotels and Apartments; IBC staff quarters illegally acquired for the purpose of Rochas Foundation College, Owerri; Magistrate Quarters, Orlu Road/Cooperative Office/Girls Guide illegally converted to private use housing Market Square, Kilimanjaro Eatery; public building plot B/2 Otamiri South Extension Layout given to the Ministry of Women Affairs for establishing a skills acquisition centre for women illegally acquired for the benefit of Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha’s All-In Stall, Aba Road.
Others include Plot P5 Naze Residential Layout initially part of Primary School Management Board but now annexed to All-In Stall, Aba Road belonging to Mrs. Okorocha, and all the property contained from pages 226 to 272 of the government white paper on the recommendation of the judicial commission of inquiry into land administration in Imo Sate from June 2006 to May 2019.
The application was, among others, based on the ground that, “These public property were converted to personal use by the 1st-3rd respondents and their cronies for which the applicants now intends to recover them in line with the white paper by the judicial commission of inquiry’s report.
Okorocha, who is now the senator representing Imo West was in office as governor of the State between 2011 and 2019.