FORMER Imo State governor Senator Rochas Okorocha suffered a major setback yesterday after the current government revoked the ownership of 49 plots of land linked to his elder sister Geraldine Obinali amid allegations that they were acquired illegally.
Last month, Senator Okorocha who governed the state between 2011 and 2019, was arrested after he forced his way into the Royal Spring Palm Estate, Owerri. Incumbent Governor Uzodinma had seized the estate which belongs to Senator Okorocha’s wife Nkechi, claiming it was state property appropriated by the former governor.
Senator Okorocha, who has since been elected as the lawmaker representing Imo West Senatorial District, vowed to stop what he sees as the seizure of his personal property and forced open the estate to reclaim it. He was subsequently arrested and taken to the police station in Owerri.
Accusing Governor Uzodinma of unleashing hundreds of thugs against him, Senator Okorocha has boasted that he has the strongest structure in the state. Sam Onwuemeodo, Senator Okorocha’s spokesman, alleged that Chinasa Nwanari, Governor Uzodinma’s special adviser on special duties, led an assault on his boss.
Despite attempts to reconcile to two men, their spat rages on unabated with the Imo State government revoking the certificate of occupation of the plots of land yesterday. According to the management of Imo State Housing Corporation, the plots were acquired illegally and constitute ill-gotten wealth.
A corporation spokesman said: “Having complied with all legal steps of notifying Jessdean Ventures Limited, of Number 3 Okeoma Close, Trans Egbu Layout, Owerri, owned by Geraldine Obinali (nee Okorocha), we hereby revoke the following plot numbers in Redemption Housing Estate Phase III, issued to her for the purpose of providing infrastructural facilities in the estates which was never carried out. The general public is hereby notified that if anybody have transacted on any of the above numbered plots, they are to come to the Imo State Housing Corporation, with original papers for ratifications.”
Of late, no fewer than 25 groups, including Imo Stakeholders, Owerri Zonal Elders Forum and Compatriots for Good Governance, have expressed their support for the full implementation of the content of the Imo State White Paper aimed at recovering property from Senator Okorocha. In a recent state-wide broadcast, Governor Uzodinma assured the citizenry of the determination of his administration to recover all ill-gotten properties, illegally acquired by any individual, no matter how highly placed.