An Owerri High Court has ordered the final forfeiture of Royal Palm Springs Hotel, a university and other properties allegedly belonging to former governor Rochas Okorocha and other members of his family.
Justice Fred Njemanze gave the order on Tuesday, holding that Okorocha’s counsel failed to give concrete and verifiable reasons why a final forfeiture order should not be given in favour of the Imo State Government.
The judge upheld the White Paper Gazette by the Imo State Government as a legal binding document, noting that the suit filed against Imo State Government by Okorocha’s counsel was not properly filed.
The court expressed the opinion that it is irrelevant to the matter.
The properties have been returned to the Imo State Government.
Justice Njamanze had on February 26 given an interim order of forfeiture on the properties, telling Okorocha to show to the court why a final order of forfeiture should not be granted over the properties following an application brought by Louis Alozie (SAN) on behalf of the state government.
The forfeited properties are said to be contained in pages 226 to 272 of the Imo State Government White Paper report by a Judicial Commission of Enquiry on Recovery of Lands and other related matters.
— Eastern Palm University, Ogboko
— Royal Spring Palm Hotels and Apartments
— IBC staff quarters said to have been illegally acquired for the purpose of Rochas Foundation College
— Owerri Magistrate Quarters, Orlu Road/Cooperative Office/Girls Guide allegedly converted to private use housing Market Square and Kilimanjaro Eatery
— Public building situated at plot B/2 Otamiri South Extension Layout given to the Ministry of Women Affairs for establishing a skills acquisition centre for women, allegedly acquired for the benefit of Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha’s All-In Mall along Aba road.
— Plot P5, Naze Residential Layout, initially part of Primary School Management Board but now annexed to All-In Mall along Aba Road, belonging to Mrs Nkechi Okorocha
— And all the properties 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 State from June 2006 to May 2019.