Court orders arrest of five Imo commissioners, directors

Rochas Okorocha
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha

A Federal High Court sitting in Owerri has ordered the arrest of five Imo State Government officials for contempt of court.

The affected officials are Josephine Udoji, Commissioner for Works and Transport, Lawrence Eburuoh, the Commissioner for Lands, Survey, and Urban Planning and Chibuzor Iwuagwu, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works.

Others are C. E. Egbuka, the Director of Works, Ministry of Works; and Emeka Duru, the Director of Works Imo State Government House, Owerri.

Justice Lewis Alagoa, presiding over the civil suit number FHC/OW/133/2016 filed by a former interior minister, Emmanuel Iheanacho, against Imo government, gave the order on Monday due to the absence of all the defendants in court.

Mr. Alagoa ordered the Inspector-General of Police and his officers to arrest the Imo officials wherever they are sighted across the country.

The court had during its sitting on November 14, 2016, summoned all the defendants to appear before it on December 8, 2016; but none of them showed up.

The counsel to the defendants, J. C. Ibe, told the court that the respondents had filed an appeal against the earlier order of the court.

Mrs. Ibe said that notices of the appeal and stay of proceeding, notice of preliminary objection and affidavit contesting the contempt order against the respondents had been served on the claimant.

However, counsel to the plaintiff, Ken Njemanze, said that his client was not aware of any appeal by the respondents as claimed by their counsel.

Mr. Njemanze said they looked up to the court on the earlier order made against the respondents, adding that their attitude amounted to total disrespect of court.

“What is discouraging to us in this suit my lord, is the intentional act of frustrating progress in the suit by the defendants.’’

Mr. Alagoa, hearing the arguments of the counsel, made the subsequent order and fixed May 2 for continuation of the matter.

Mr. Iheanacho had gone to court over the demolition of part of his property on Orlu Road in Owerri Urban by construction workers engaged for road expansion by the state government.



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  • musa aliyu

    They should pay him now! Abi his building blocked the right of way?

    • Tunji Olarewaju

      Even if his building is blocking the right of way that shouldn’t prevent the defendants from appearing before a legally constituted court of law to present their arguments .If it were to be the plaintiff on charge, don’t you think this same state (miss)government would have been sending the police, Navy, even, and including, but not limited to the Boys Scouts, after him? Those who are products of the Law should learn to obey it. My take, anyway

  • A lawless society is one that is damned, destined to oblivion. Societies where citizens think that they are above the law and can disregard court summons at will is one that is an incarnate of a failed state. Why won’t they give two fingers to the High Court summons? After all, they are the typical “Nigeria Big Men”, the reigning emperors who can get away with anything and everything including murders? You can bet your unpaid salary arrears that the Inspector-General of Police or his officers would lay a finger on these larger than life recalcitrant Commissioners let alone arresting them for Contempt of Court. In fact the next we would be told is that these “big men” have taken Justice Lewis Alagoa to another lower court for “wasting their time and dragging their well-deserved reputation to the gutters” And Imo State will pay them damages as well! You can’t make this up.