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Court to Okorocha: You can’t stop your probe

Spirited efforts by Senator Rochas Okorocha, former governor of Imo State, to stop the probe into his administration has hit a brick wall.
The former governor had told the Imo State High Court to stop the Justice Benjamin Iheka-chaired Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Contracts, but Justice K. A. Ojiako, yesterday dismissed the suit filed by Okorocha.

The former governor had, in a suit number HOW/235/2020, dragged Imo State Attorney General and members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Contracts to court.
Ruling on Okorocha’s prayer for an order restraining the Judicial Commission from further proceedings until the substantive suit is heard and disposed of, Justice Ojiako said that to grant this application as sought, will entail the stoppage of the entire proceedings of the panel.

His words: “The grant of this application will entail the stoppage of the commission from its designated function, which is expensive and includes other persons, other than the plaintiff.

“It will thus be inequitable for the plaintiff to seek to stop the proceedings of the panel in its entirety and not as it relates to him alone.”
Justice Ojiako was also of the view that “in so far as the terms of reference of the commission go beyond the person of the applicant, he cannot, under the guise of this application, seek for prayers which will cover other persons, who are not parties to this action and have not complained against the respondents.”
The judge submitted that: “On this issue alone, this application is not grantable.”
Ojiako also addressed the issue raised by Okorocha, to the effect that Justice Iheka-chaired commission is prejudiced.
Okorocha had accused the commission of taking evidence from witnesses without inviting him.
Justice Ojiako, however, ruled that “from the foregoing, the applicant’s prayers are not limited to the case presented before the court, but clearly beyond the case, which must of necessity, lead to the refusal of grant of the application.
“In the final analysis, this application is misconceived and is hereby refused and consequently dismissed.”

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