An Abuja-based lawyer, Mr. Frank Tietie,has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene to stop Governor Hope Uzodima from demolishing buildings belonging to his embattled predecessor, Mr. Rochas Okorocha.
In a statement released in Abuja, Tietie called on the President and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu, Esq. and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to exercise their constitutional and statutory duties in ensuring the prevalence of the rule of law in Imo State and Okorocha is not made to suffer persecution
Tietie’s full statement reads: “On Friday, the 5th of March, 2021, officials of the Imo State Government marked for demolition, property belonging to the Rochas Okorocha Family. It is pertinent to note that all of the property marked for demolition are presently subject to pending litigations.
“Particularly, there is an Order of Court issued by Hon. Justice T.N. Nzeukwu of the Imo State High Court, in the case of an application for fundamental rights House of Freeda Ltd, Mrs Uloma Rochas Nwosu & 2 Ors. and the Governor of Imo State, Attorney General & Commissioner of Justice, Imo State & 4 Ors (Suit No. HOW/947/2019), wherein, the Court issued a perpertual injunction against the Governor and government of Imo State, his agents, privies and workmen from interfering with the following properties:
1. House of Freeda- at Km 1, Port Harcourt Road, Owerri, Besides Greenwood Hotel, New Owerri, Imo State.
2. East High College- at Area ‘R’, opposite Life Oak Event Centre, New Owerri, Imo State.
3. East High Academy- at Area ‘P’, Opposite ISOPADEC,, New Owerri, Imo State.
4. West Brook Hotel Ltd- at New Owerri, Imo State.
5. El Freeda Foundation- at Area ‘P’, Opposite ISOPADEC,, New Owerri, Imo State.
“Furthermore, the Eastern Palm University (Imo-European University) is the subject matter of a pending suit at the Federal High Court, Owerri between the Incorporated Trustees of Rochas Foundation, Eastern Palm University, Ogboko as Plaintiffs and the Governo of Imo State and 5 Ors as Defendants.
The right of the Rochas Okorocha Family to own moveable and immovable property anywhere in Nigeria, including Imo State, is guaranteed by the constitution. Such right can neither be extinguished by the whims and caprices of any of government official nor by a fact-finding committee (Judicial Commission of Inquiry).
“Only a Court of competent jurisdiction can make a determination as to any detraction of the fundamental right of any |Nigerian citizen to own moveable and immovable property in any part of Nigeria.
Governor Hope Uzodinma, being a huge beneficiary of the rule of law which has made him the present governor of Imo State, must as a matter of avowed commitment to upholding the Constitution, immediately cease all actions that would undermine the rule of law as the guarantor of peace and progress in any society. The Governor should lead respect for the rule of law by obeying the standing Order of the Imo State High Court and to stop the frustration of the subject matter before the Federal High Court, Owerri.
“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari and by extension the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu, Esq. and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu are by this Press Statement and subsequent formal submissions to their good offices, hereby called upon to exercise their constitutional and statutory duties in ensuring the prevalence of the rule of law in Imo State.
“The President and the relevant officials of the State and Federal Government must act immediately to prevent the abuse of state powers by Governor Hope Uzodinma who is presently consumed and driven by hate, malice and morbid vindictiveness against the person of Senator Rochas Okorocha, the Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District and former Governor of Imo State.”