The lingering battle between a former Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and the sitting Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma has resumed in the law courts.
Recall that Uzodinma had continued with the probe panels inherited from the Emeka Ihedioha government which Okorocha had earlier gone to court to challenge.
However, a tinge of drama took place in the court on Tuesday when Uzodinma’s lawyer and Attorney General of the State, C.O.C Akaolisa refused to allow Okorocha amend his suit filed against the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC and other panels set up by the State to probe his eight year rule.
Okorocha’s lawyer, Oba Maduabuchi, SAN sought the relief to correct the mistakes committed by his Secretary while typing the document filed in court.
According to what Trumpeta obtained online as to what transpired in the court, Okorocha’s Lawyer states that, “It was my Secretary that made the mistake while typing. It will be unjust to punish the plaintiff for my mistake which I own up to publicly.
“The objector has not even filed its defence. So, any amendment we make, they will have the opportunity of responding to it,” the Lawyer said.
But Imo Government, through its Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Cyprian Akaolisa, opposed the application.
Akaolisa argued that by virtue of judicial authorities, since he had filed a notice of objection against the suit, the plaintiff was not permitted to amend the suit.
He added that the plaintiff failed to point out the aspects of the suit sought to be amended.
“I concede that amendments are allowed by the rules of the court. But once the jurisdiction of the court has been challenged, those amendments should not be allowed.
“The amendments should not be allowed to confer jurisdiction on the court.
“The preliminary objection was filed to challenge the jurisdiction of the court.
“The court will not take any step in the matter until the issue of jurisdiction is resolved,” Akaolisa replied.
Responding, Maduabuchi said the mere fact that there was a preliminary objection did not preclude the plaintiff from applying to amend the processes objected to.
The EFCC’s Lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho, did not oppose the application for amendment.
Justice Mohammed, after listening to both parties, adjourned the matter until Sept. 10 for ruling.
Justice Mohammed had previously refused to grant Okorocha’s request for an interim order to stop the ongoing probes by the state government’s panels.
He filed the case, seeking an order stopping the 48 respondents in the suit to stop probing his “purported financial infractions” said to have been committed during his tenure as governor between May 2011 and May 2019.