BY CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI—Activities at Owerri Urban Customary Court, situated inside Imo Hotels, Owerri, were yesterday, stalled, following the submerging of the building by flood.
The flood came on the heels of a torrential rain experienced which lasted for several hours on Monday.
Vanguard observed that court officials and litigants clustered in groups to discuss the flood.
A staff of the court, who spoke to Vanguard on anonymity, said the flood was caused by tampering of the top soil by the contractor handling a government project in the premises.
The staff said: “The contractor bulldozed the top soil of the area and ended up creating a basin around the court building. The courtroom is flooded and no one can even get close to the door.
“You have seen what we are facing. Can anybody work in this type of condition? Except you tell the world what you have seen, nobody will get to know that we cannot get our jobs done for no fault of ours”.
All the lawyers who spoke to Vanguard confirmed that there was no way the court could sit in a flooded courtroom, even as they wondered what the state government was doing to remedy the ugly situation.
The lawyers after discussing the incident, later agreed to take fresh dates for their matters, while the court officials who were also at the scene obliged.
Similarly, some of the litigants told Vanguard that they were disappointed by the turn of event, adding that “some of our matters are getting unduly delayed for no fault of the court.”
The litigants said since the rainy was still at its initial stage, with the attendant flooding of the courtroom, what would happen when the rain was at its peak would be any person’s guess.