From: Lukman Olabiyi
Twelve representatives of Owerri communities have dragged the Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and two others before the state High Court, to challenge their removal from Eke Ukwu Owere market.
Other respondents dragged before the court included the state’s House of Assembly and the Attorney General.
The Plaintiffs claimed, among others that there was a court order restraining the defendants from carrying our the demolition of the market.
Plaintiffs in the suit are Chief T.O.S Oparaugo and 11 aothers (for themselves and on behalf of the communities).
The suit was filed on their behalf by Chief Unoruka Udechukwu (SAN) who is leading a team of lawyers including two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, K.C.O Njemanze and N.A. Nnawuchi.
The plaintiffs want the court to order the governor to pay them the sum of N100 billion as exemplary damages for the said unlawful and unconstitutional acts.
In the Originating Summons with No: HOW/695/2017 filed on 13th of September 2017, the plaintiffs asked the court to declare that their forcible removal from the market in Owerri and the demolition of the said market despite the subsistence of a pending suit and a restraining court crder, without any enabling judicial order, constituted an act of state executive impunity and grave violation of the provisions of Sections 6 (1)(2)(3): 36(1) 188(11) and 287(3) of the 1999 Constitution on the part of the Imo State government.
They also asked the court to declare that by virtue of Sections 6(6)(a) & (b), 36(1), and 272 of the 1999 Constitution, the court has the constitutional power and vires to reverse the said acts of the state government.
The plaintiffs asked the court to hold that they are entitled to compensation to be determined by the court for injuries and damages caused to them by the Imo State government.
They also asked for an order reversing the said act of state executive impunity and grave violation of the provisions of the constitution on the part of the governor and returning the parties to the status quo ante 26th August, 2016.
The case is yet to be assigned to a judge and the defendants were yet to enter an appearance.