Seizure Of Okorocha’s Properties: Court Dismisses Appeal Filed By Imo, Others - IReporteronline
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Seizure Of Okorocha’s Properties: Court Dismisses Appeal Filed By Imo, Others

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A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal, Wednesday, dismissed the appeal filed by the Attorney General of Imo State and forty others challenging the ruling of an Owerri Federal High Court, which granted Senator Rochas Okorocha the leave to amend processes filed before the Court.

Presiding Judge in the Suit with Suit No:CA/ABJ/CV/942/2020, Justice Dattijo Yahaya, dismissed the appeal, following a notice of discontinuance dated and filed on March 16 by the Attorney General of Imo State, Cyprain Akaolisa, on behalf of the appellants.

Counsel to Senator Rochas Okorocha, Oba Maduabuchi, opposed the withdrawal of the appeal on the ground that the appellants want to deceive the Court by pretending to discontinue the appeal and go back to Imo State and complete what they intend to do before returning to the Court.

He said the appellants were only interested in humiliating the Senator by marking his properties and those of his associates for demolition during the pendency of the suit before a Federal High Court in Owerri and the appeal before the Court of Appeal.

The Presiding Judge however struck out the appeal on the premise that an appellant has the right to withdraw an appeal following a notice of discontinuance properly filed before the Court.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the ruling, Okorocha’s Counsel, stated that, “the appeal was against the ruling of a lower Court allowing us to amend our processes. Imo State government jumped to the Court of Appeal, saying that it was wrong to allow us to amend our processes.

“They filed their brief; I filed my brief and filed an objection that the appeal is incompetent. Then we filed a motion that every step they have taken, including the arrest and humiliation of Rochas Okorocha during the pendency of this matter must be set aside by the Court of Appeal. We served them with that Motion, they have not filed a counter to it, they went ahead to mark properties belonging to has and his associates for demolition based upon the proceedings of the panels of inquiry that took place during the pendency of both this Appeal and the matter in the lower Court, which is abuse of process of Court.”

He continued that, “now they have achieved their objective which is to humiliate Rochas, to take over his properties, they have withdrawn the appeal, so what can be more abusive of the process of Court than that.

“When the matter is pending in the Court of Appeal you go and round up proceeding in your panel on enquiry, while the matter is pending in the Court of Appeal you go and forfeit the properties of Rochas Okorocha, you went and Mark his properties for demolition. This is the impunity we have been shouting about, people do things the way they want to do it and not the way the law the law asked them to do it.

“How can you file an appeal you know is incompetent, then while the appeal is pending in the Court of Appeal, you know ask your panels of inquiry to conclude and submit their reports and you issues white paper, seal people’s houses, mark them for demolition while the appeal is pending in the Court of Appeal, that is obviously an abuse of Court process.”

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Group Advocates Ban On Open Grazing In Edo

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A Non-governmental organisation, New Nigeria Initiative (NNI), Wednesday, advocated a ban on open grazing to prevent herders and farmers clash in Edo.

The group said Edo and the entire country were being gripped by endemic brutality, untold cruelties and awful cycles of events arising from clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

President of the group, Mr Uwadiae Odigie, stated this when the group visited the state acting permanent secretary, state ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, in Benin .

According to him, “NNI had in the wake of these attacks in June, 2000 dropped a private bill titled:  “the Prohibition of cattle grazing” in the State House of Assembly.
“But, regrettably nothing came out of it and the result has been the reign of reckless bloodshed by  criminal herdsmen in the State.
“The unabated tragic drama mostly in Edo spurred us to re-introduced a modified version of the bill  to the Dtate House of Assembly.”
Responding, the acting permanent secretary said government was concerned about the security situation in the state.

Aikhuomobhogbe said, “Government is doing its best to ensure food security in the state. If the cattle continue to destroy farmlands, it will affect food security.”

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10 Former Nigerian Governors Linked With N30billion Properties In UK

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A new report has linked 10 former Nigerian governors to properties worth £56 million (about N30 billion) in the United Kingdom.

The report on illicit financial flow (IFF) from Nigeria to the UK and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also shows that 216 properties are owned by 13 law enforcement officers in the UAE.

The report was presented at a media roundtable organised by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation.

The identities of the former governors were not disclosed.

Dr. Gbenga Oduntan of the Kent Law School, University of Kent, UK presented the report titled, “Fixing Nigeria’s Illicit Financial Flows: A critical review of UK and UAE Policies, Laws and Practices.”

Commenting on the report, Chairman of HEDA, Olanrewaju Suraju, said funds stolen from Nigeria and taken to the UK and UAE were mind-boggling.

He noted that both countries have become enablers of illicit funds and stressed the need to challenge external collaborators aiding the flow of illicit funds out of Nigeria.

“We should make it difficult for people to take out the proceeds of crimes,” he said, adding that the UK and UAE should protect their systems from “those toxic resources.”

The HEDA Chairman noted that while over $50 billion is lost annually to illicit financial flow in Africa, Nigeria is the leading country in terms of IFF.

Stakeholders have however advocated for the creation of a tripartite anti-corruption task force for the three countries to stop the illicit financial flow.

Oduntan, who presented the research report, said apart from the huge amount of money illegally stashed abroad by politically exposed persons in Nigeria, $15 billion alone is lost to tax evasion by multinationals in Nigeria.

In addition, he said there is heavy under-invoicing between Nigeria and the UK, adding that fixing Nigeria’s illicit financial flow would require the destination countries to collaborate with Nigeria to shut down their systems against suspected proceeds of crimes.

However, he lamented that this is not the case, saying in the UAE, findings show that prosecution of money laundering cases is very low.

Source: Sahara Reporters

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JUST IN: Boko Haram Currently Attacking Borno Community

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Damasak, the headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area of troubled Borno state has again come under Boko Haram attack on Wednesday afternoon, a security source told SaharaReporters.

The incident is the 8th attack on the community within a week, the source added.

Damasak is a border community with the Niger Republic north and is about 180 km drive from Maiduguri, the state capital.

The insurgents had on Tuesday evening invaded the community and wreaked havoc without confrontation.

The gunmen were reported to have razed the Divisional Police Command, schools, shops and residential houses as they hoisted their flags in strategic locations within the town.

On Saturday, the insurgents attacked the community, setting fire on United Nations facilities and forcing humanitarian workers to flee for their lives.

About three soldiers were shot dead by the gunmen while many persons were killed when a military jet that came to salvage the situation dropped a bomb that landed in a compound where civilians were having christening.

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