Posted by News Express | 9 December 2016 | 2,002 times
A Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State, yesterday, issued a bench warrant for the arrest of two aides Governor Rochas Okorocha over their refusal to appear before the court.
This followed an application by the lead counsel to Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, Ken Njemanze that some designated government officials be committed to prison for failure to honour court invitation, which they were duly served.
Njemanze sought an order to compel the two aides to appear before the court to explain their willful disobedience of an earlier court injunction which had restrained the state government from demolishing any part of the property of Captain Iheanacho situated along the Owerri/Orlu Road.
The presiding judge, Justice Louis Alagoa who issued an arrest warrant against the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works, Dr. Chibuzor Iwuagwu and the Director of Works (Civil) in the ministry, Mr. C.E. Ebuka, said the actions of the officials constituted a contempt of court.
Justice Alagoa said the action has become necessary to protect the integrity of the court and the law. He stressed that impunity, if allowed to endure would rubbish the integrity and credibility of the judiciary.
He, therefore, ordered the police to effect the arrest of the two top government officials without delay and adjourned the case till January 30, 2017.
Chief Njemanze had earlier in his submissions lamented the brazen and utter disregard of court orders in respect of the suit filed by his client challenging the legality of the destruction of his property by agents of the state government.
“My Lord, we were here on November 14 and immediately we left the court, the first and the seventh defendants and the people we are trying to send to prison went back, brazenly destroyed the property in question, thereby, telling the rest of the world that they were above the law and that the court could do nothing about this.”
However, the Assistant Director (Civil Litigation), Imo State Ministry of Justice, Mrs. A.C. Ibeh averred that the state government had earlier filed a notice on motion of appeal, challenging the jurisdiction of the court as regards the civil matter and the entire suit. (Daily Sun)