A Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Recovery of Government Properties and Funds set up by Governor Alex Otti of Abia State have been barred from investigating former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and officials who served under his administration by a Federal High Court sitting in the Federal Capital Territory.
Justice E. Okpe granted the injunction following an ex-parte application filed by a lawyer to Ikpeazu and three other applicants, Mr. C. Enuka.
The court granted an;
“Order of interim injunction restraining the Respondents…from inviting, summoning, interrogating, harassing, intimidating, arresting, detaining, seizing, any property belonging to the Applicants or otherwise dealing adversely in any manner with the Applicants, their children, any member of their families or any other person connected to the Applicants insofar as it relates to the Applicant’s tenure as public officers in the Abia State Government between 2015 – 2023, pending determination of the substantive Originating Motion on Notice.
“Granted an orer for departure from Order 43 Rule 3 (2) of the High Court of Federal Capital Territory (civil procedure) Rule 2018 directing that the interim orders granted herein shall not lapse until the hearing and determination of the Applicant’s substantive originating motion on notice”.
Reacting to the order granted by the federal high court, Governor Otti said they would be challenging it. His media aide, Ferdinand Ekeoma said;
“We have not confirmed that at the moment. We have not confirmed the authenticity of any court injunction by the immediate past Governor.
“But even if he has obtained any injunction, we will challenge it at the court because no legitimate Government can be stopped from probing someone who was suspected to have indulged on any act of illegality or financial malfeasance against the state.
“If he has obtained any injunction, Government is confident that once that is challenged the court of law will definitely vacate such injunction. So, we are not bothered”.