A Federal High sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has ordered a former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha and his family not to sell or alienate any of the properties that were subject of an interim order of the court pending the conclusion of investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Justice J. K Omotosho gave the consequential order on Friday, September 13, while vacating an earlier interim order of forfeiture.
Recall that the court had on July 25, 2019, made an interim order of forfeiture of five properties owned by Okorocha and his family to the Federal Government.
The properties include: Rochas Foundation College, Owerri, All-in-One Shopping Mall, East High Academy, East High College and Royal Spring Palm Hotel & Apartments.
A statement issued by the EFCC’s Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, however, said the court vacated the earlier order following five separate motions on notice filled by the Registered Trustees of Rochas Foundation College, All-in One Limited, Royal Spring Palm Apartments Limited, Registered Trustees of Women of Divine Destiny Initiative and Uluoma Okorocha Nwosu to challenge the order.
They had in the motions filed on August 8, prayed the court to vacate the interim forfeiture order.
According to the statement, the commission, in response, filed counter-affidavits to the motions of the applicants on August 19, 2019 and on August 21, when the case came up for hearing, the applicants informed the court that they were served with the commission’s counter-affidavits and asked for an adjournment which was granted by court.
When the case came up on September 9, for hearing of the motions, the applicants filed further affidavits and in reply to these further affidavits, the EFCC filed counter-affidavits and served the same day.
Justice Omotosho directed the applicants to, on or before Tuesday September 17, 2019 depose to an affidavit of undertaking and adjourned to September 27, 2019 for report.