A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has ordered former governor, 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.
Presiding Justice J. K. Omotosho also directed the applicants to, on or before Tuesday, September 17, depose to an affidavit of undertaking and adjourned to September 27, for report.
The anti-graft spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.
Uwujaren added that judge gave the Consequential Order while vacating the July 25, Interim Order, forfeiting five properties owned by Okorocha and his family to the Federal Government.
The properties are: Rochas Foundation College, Owerri, All in 1 Shopping Mall, East High Academy, East High College and Royal Spring Palm Hotel & Apartments.
But Registered Trustees of Rochas Foundation College, All-in Limited, Royal Spring Palm Apartments Limited, Registered Trustees of Women of Divine Destiny Initiative and Uluoma Okorocha Nwosu, it was learnt, had challenged the order on August 8, through five separate motion on notice praying the court to vacate the interim forfeiture order.
Also, the commission in response filed counter affidavits to the motions of the applicants on 19 August.
EFCC , however, said when the case came up for hearing on August 21, 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.
However, when the case came up on September 9, for hearing of the motions, the applicants reportedly filed further affidavits and in reply to these further affidavits, the commission also filed counter affidavits to the applicants’ further affidavit and served them same day.
But applicants’ counsel, Okey Amechi, SAN, reportedly informed Justice Omotosho that they were just served and the court adjourned the case to Wednesday, September 11, for hearing.
Further, the EFCC affirmed, “After the court sitting, the applicants’ served the commission with 2nd Further Affidavit at precisely 11:21 am.
“On Thursday, September 12, 2019, Counsel to the Commission informed the Court that the Applicants had served him with their 2ndFurther Affidavits and that he would need time to respond.
“The Court gave the Commission till Friday, September,13, 2019 to file its Counter Affidavits, failing which it will make a consequential order.
“This was after counsel to the applicants had drawn the attention of the court to the nature of the properties, one of which is a school which was scheduled to resume in September.
“On Friday, September 13, 2019 when the matter came up, Counsel to the Commission informed the Court that he is yet to file its Counter Affidavits and the Court issued the consequential order vis-à-vis the nature of the properties involved”.
Meanwhile, the commission said it was studying the consequential order of court.