From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Reprieve came the way of former Imo governor, Roaches Okorocha, as the Court of Appeal,yesterday, dismissed the appeal filed by the state’s Attorney General, Cyprain Akaolisa, and forty others bordering on his seized property.
Specifically, the dismissed appeal marked CA/ABJ/CV/942/2020, was against the ruling of an Owerri Federal High Court, which granted Okorocha the leave to amend processes filed before the court.
Justice Dattijo Yahaya, who led a three-member panel of justices, dismissed the appeal, following a notice of discontinuance, dated and filed on March 16 by Akaolisa on behalf of the appellants.
Counsel to Okorocha, Oba Maduabuchi (SAN), had opposed the withdrawal of the appeal on the grounds that the action was meant to deceive the court by pretending to discontinue the appeal and go back to Imo State and complete what they intend to do before returning to the court.
He said the appellants were only interested in humiliating the senator by marking his property and those of his associates for demolition during the pendency of the suit before a Federal High Court in Owerri and the appeal before the Court of Appeal.
Yahaya, however, struck out the appeal on the grounds that an appellant has the legal right to withdraw an appeal following a notice of discontinuance properly filed before the court.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the ruling, Okorocha’s counsel, said: “The appeal was against the ruling of a lower court allowing us to amend our processes. Imo State government jumped to the Court of Appeal, saying it was wrong to allow us to amend our processes.
“They filed their brief, I filed my brief and filed an objection that the appeal is incompetent. Then, we filed a motion that every step they have taken, including the arrest and humiliation of Okorocha during the pendency of this matter must be set aside by the court of Appeal.
“We served them with that motion, they have not filed a counter to it, they went ahead to mark property belonging to him and his associates for demolition based upon the proceedings of the panels of inquiry that took place during the pendency of both this appeal and the matter in the lower court, which is abuse of process of court.
“Now, they have achieved their objective which is to humiliate Okorocha and take over his property, they have withdrawn the appeal, so what can be more abusive of the process of court than that.”
“When the matter is pending in the Court of Appeal you go and round up proceeding in your panel on enquiry, while the matter is pending in the Court of Appeal you go and forfeit the property of Okorocha, you went and mark his property for demolition. This is the impunity we have been shouting about, people do things the way they want to do it and not the way the law asked them to do it.”