Court okays forfeiture of illegal properties acquired by Okorocha as governor

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

 

A federal high court, sitting in Owerri, the Imo State capital, has granted an application seeking the interim forfeiture of all properties acquired illegally by Owelle Rochas Okorocha while in office as Governor of Imo State between 2011 to 2019.

Justice Benjamin Njemanze approved the petition filed by L. M Alozie (SAN) on Wednesday.

The court had ordered the final forfeiture of Dews of Hope Hospital, a N1.5 billion, state-of-the-art 200-bed hospital, allegedly owned by an aide to a former governor of Imo State and serving senator, Rochas Okorocha.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on August 22, 2019, secured an interim forfeiture of property from the trial judge, Justice A. T Mohammed of Federal High Court, Port Harcourt.

The application for interim forfeiture was triggered by evidence that the facility may have been acquired through proceeds of illicit activities as funds from Government House, Owerri.

The commission’s investigation revealed that Paschal Obi, former Permanent Secretary and Principal Secretary to then-Governor Okorocha, now a serving member of the House of Representatives, was a signatory to the accounts.

However, Obi, like members of the board of the hospital, vehemently denied ownership of the medical facility.

Other properties under the radar include 16-block cum 96 flats, an eight-bungalow multi-million naira estate, hotel, two schools, shopping plaza, supermarket, hospital, and four vehicles.

Okorocha was recently arrested and released after storming the Royal Spring Palm with his supporters, policemen, soldiers and personnel of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps and ordered the unsealing of the estate.

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