By Chidi Nkwopara, OWERRI.
An Imo State High Court presided over by Justice Kemakolam A. Ojiako, has issued an order restraining the Governor from carrying out any developmental activity in Ekeukwu Owerri Market.
Justice Ojiako said he gave the order upon reading through the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction, dated and filed February 7, 2018, the 31-paragraph affidavit deposed by the plaintiffs/applicants, the counter affidavit filed February 23, 2018, as well as the adoption of arguments by counsel on both sides.
“The defendants by themselves, their servants, agents, officers and/or hirelings, are restrained from, in whatsoever manner, entering into, building, developing, constructing or carrying out any developmental activity or works, on the subject matter of this suit, that is, Ekeukwu Owerri Market, situate in Owerri, pending the hearing and determination of this suit”, Ojiako said.
Arguing the matter earlier, the plaintiffs counsel, Prince Ken C. O. Njemanz, SAN, recalled that “on September 9, 2016, an interim order was made by this honourable court, restraining the defendants from demolishing, destroying, removing and interfering with the subject matter of this suit”.
He however recalled that on August 26, 2017, “in brazen disobedience of the said order, the defendants with their servants, officers, agents, soldiers, policemen and armed militia and thugs entered and destroyed Ekeukwu Owerri Market.
Njemanze also told the court that “the defendants, their servants and/or agents, recently started excavating the land in dispute and adjoining land, preparatory to erecting or building structures thereon”.
He further expressed reservations that the defendants will alter the character of the land in dispute, if not restrained by the court.
The court later fixed June 7, 2018, for Pre-Trial Conference, PTC, in the suit HOW/380/2016.