Court Orders Forfeiture of Properties Linked to Okorocha

Justice Fred Njemanze of the Imo State High Court has ordered a permanent forfeiture of Royal Spring Palm Estate linked to the wife of former governor of the state, Senator Rochas Okorocha.

The judge also ordered that the Eastern Palm University, Ogboko belonging to the Rochas Foundation to be forfeited permanently to the state government.

Njemanze, who is due for retirement today (Tuesday) also ordered a final forfeiture of all the properties contained in pages 226 to 272 of the state government white paper on recovery of lands and properties allegedly belonging to the state government.

The properties which were not less than 47 were said to belong to the members of the Okorocha’s family and associates.

The justice held that Okorocha failed to convince the court on why a final forfeiture order would not be made in respect to the properties in question.

“There is no reason before me on why the forfeiture should not be made absolute and final. Every property on pages 226 to 272 of the white paper has been forfeited to the Imo state Government and they can do with it whatever they deem fitSome of the properties to be forfeited include, 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, Kilimanjaro eatery; Public building 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 stall, Aba road, Plot P5, Naze residential layout, initially part of primary school management board but now annexed to All-In Stall, Aba Road, belonging to Nkechi Okorocha.

However, speaking on the development, counsel to Okorocha’s wife, Oba Maduagwu, SAN, said that the order was an abuse of court procedure.

Meanwhile, the Eselu of Iselu Kingdom, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi, yesterday announced the withdrawal of the conferment of Otunba Asoludero chieftaincy title on former Imo State governor, Sen. Rochas Okorocha.
The first-class traditional ruler also canceled the installation ceremony which was earlier scheduled to hold on Sept. 19.

The withdrawal was contained in a letter dated August 9, signed by the Oba and addressed to Okorocha.
Akinyemi had recently pronounced Okorochas as the Otunba Asoludero of Iselu kingdom in Yewa -North Local Government Area of Ogun.

Eselu had hinged the conferment on Okorocha’s “exemplified track record of unifying different tribes across the country”.

But the Oba, in the letter he wrote to Okorochas on Monday, explained that the chieftaincy title was withdrawn “in the interest of peace and harmony”.

While he claimed the Iselu kingdom still held Okorocha in high esteem, he advised him to accept the withdrawal, as an act of God.

“Senator sir, I must state that my decision to withdraw the chieftaincy title earlier coffered on you is not premised on any hatred for you but is done in the interest of peace and harmony.

“For the records, I want to declare to Your Excellency that Eselu-in-Council and the good people of Iselu Kingdom, will continue to love you and other well-meaning Nigerians, home and abroad.

“Your Excellency should note that the doors of my palace will continue to remain open to you and other patriotic Nigerians, at all times for the progress of my community and Nigeria, in general.

“My advice to Your Excellency is that you should continue to help the needy in Nigeria, especially through your Foundation.

“Also, do not forget that development of every society requires all hands to be on deck; hence Your Excellency’s continuous show of love towards the development of Iselu Kingdom will always be greatly appreciated.

“Sir, it is my belief that what tomorrow will be, will be determined by the future.

“Therefore, I appeal that you should see this development as an act of God. I pray to the Almighty God to continue to be with you in your political career and in all your endeavours.

“Any inconveniences this withdrawal of the chieftaincy title might have caused you, are indeed regretted.”

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