By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—An Imo State High Court presided over by Justice K. A. Ojiako, has restrained Imo State Governor and the state Attorney-General from expropriating, trespassing or further demolish any part of Rockville Hotel, Owerri, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
Justice Ojiako slammed the order on the duo, upon reading through the motion exparte, HOW/537/2017, for interim injunction with the accompanying affidavit of urgency in support and after hearing counsel to the plaintiff/applicant, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, SAN.
“It is hereby ordered that the defendants by themselves, their agents, workmen, privies, assigns or any person howsoever acting on their behalf, are restrained from further expropriating, trespassing or continuing to expropriate or trespass on, or further demolish any structure on any part or portion of the premises of the plaintiff at Plot CP/2, CP/5, wherein its Rockville Hotel, Owerri, is located, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction,” Justice Ojiako ordered.
Addressing the court earlier, the plaintiff’s counsel said the defendants had been gradually expropriating parts of his client’s property without notice of acquisition or any compensation.
Uzoukwu also told the court that on May 27, 2017, the defendants appropriated part of the property abutting Okigwe Road, Owerri, by demolishing the wall fence thereat.
“A search the plaintiff conducted respectfully at the Ministry of Works, Owerri and Owerri Capital Development Authority, indicated that there is no road design, map or drawing lodged thereat that affected any part of the premises or property of the plaintiff,” Uzoukwu told the court.
While saying that “the actions of the defendants are unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional”, counsel also pleaded that “unless they are restrained, they will plunge the plaintiff into colossal losses and damages that the plaintiff cannot recover from”.
The court was also told that “the threat of further demolition will totally damage the water treatment plant of the plaintiff, waste disposal system and septic tanks, among others”.