By Mukwuzi Joseph
Former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha’s application for an order to stop the State Government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from confiscating his properties, has been declined by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Counsel to Senator Okorocha, Mr Oba Maduabuchi (SAN) who told the court presided over by Justice Ahmed Mohammed that properties of his client were being marked for confiscation and demolition, had asked the court on Wednesday August 11 to grant an interim order to stop the EFCC and the Imo State Government from carrying on with their action.
The motion could however not go through as counsels to Imo government and the EFCC challenged jurisdiction of the court to sit on the matter during the vacation period.
Asides arguing in their seperate submissions that the application by Okorocha was an abuse of judicial processes and cannot subsist in view of the motion filed already challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter during the vacation period of the court, they also argued that once an issue of jurisdiction is raised in any suit, it must be determined and resolved first before the court can take further steps.
Counsel to the 3rd to 17th defendants, Livy Uzuokwu (SAN) also challenged the application by Senator Okorocha by disclosed that he had filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the judge to have the matter fixed during the vacation.
He also said the plaintiff did not comply with the mandatory provisions of Order 46 Rule 5 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2019, which mandates the plaintiff to obtain a fiat from the chief judge for the matter to be heard during vacation.
Ruling on the case, Justice Ahmed Mohammed refused to grant Okorocha’s application, insisting that he would have to hear the motion challenging his jurisdiction to sit on the matter during vacation.
The case was then adjourned to August 24.