Court blocks Abia property recovery panel


A Federal High Court, Abuja, has granted an interim injunction against the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Government of Abia State, and the Panel of Inquiry on Recovery of Government Properties and Funds, set up, in June, by Governor Alex Otti.

The court granted the injunction after an application for an ex-parte motion was brought before it by C.C. Enuka, counsel to Gabriel Onyendilefu and three others.

In the papers obtained by The Guardian, the court gave 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 applicants’ tenure as public officers in the Abia State government between 2015 and 2023, pending determination of the substantive originating motion on notice.”

The court also “granted for departure from Order 43 Rule 3 (2) of the High Court of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) (civil procedure) Rule 2018, directing that the interim orders granted herein shall not lapse until hearing and determination of the applicants’ substantive originating motion on notice.”

The matter was adjourned until August 15, 2023, for hearing of the substantive suit. Recall that Otti had, last week, inaugurated a panel of inquiry on the Recovery of Government Properties and Funds headed by Justice Florence Duruoha-Igwe rtd.