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Ekeukwu Market: Owerri community drags Okorocha to court

By Innocent Anaba

Twelve representatives of Owerri community have dragged the Imo State Governor, Mr Rochas Okoroha before an Imo State High Court, challenging the illegal removal of Eke Ukwu market situated at Owerri and the demolition of the said market despite the subsistence of a pending suit and a restraining court order.

They 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.

The governor of Imo State, the State’s House of Assembly and the State’s Attorney General are the three defendants in the suit filed by Chief T.O.S Oparaugo and 11 others (for themselves and on behalf of Owerri community).

Chief Unoruka Udechukwu, SAN who filed the suit on the plaintiffs’ behalf is leading a team of lawyers including   K.C.O Njemanze, SAN and  N.A. Nnawuchi, SAN.

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 order,   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 them by the  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 August 26, 2016.

The plaintiffs asked the court to determine the following questions:

* Whether the forcible removal of the Plaintiffs from their Eke Ukwu Owerri Market situated at Owerri and the demolition of the said market despite the subsistence of a pending suit, and a restraining Court Order, and a fortiori, without any enabling judicial order, does not constitute 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.

* Whether by virtue of Sections 6(6)(a) & (b), 36(1), and 272   of the 1999 Constitution , this Honourable Court has the inherent and constitutional power and vires to reverse the said acts of the 1st Defendant, removing the plaintiffs from their Eke Ukwu Owerri Market situated at Owerri and the demolition of the said market, which acts were done despite the subsistence of a restraining Court Order and a fortiori, without any enabling judicial order.

*Whether the Plaintiffs are entitled to compensation to be determined by this court for injuries and damages caused to them by the said acts of the State Executive impunity and grave violation of the provisions of the Constitution by the 1st defendant through elements employed by the 1st defendant.

The case has not been assigned to a judge and the defendants are yet to enter an appearance.

 

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