The Abia State Governor, Alex Otti has claimed that the immediate past Governor of the state Okezie Ikpeazu, is seeking court order to stop the Judiciary Panel on the Recovery of Government Properties and Funds belonging to Abia State, from probing him.
Otti disclosed this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kazie Uko, noting that Ikpeazu who is apparently rattled by the establishment of the panel, has gone shopping for court order in Abuja to stop the panel but without success.
“Unfortunately for Ikpeazu, every effort to surreptitiously obtain an order of the court against the panel has failed”, Otti said.
”Twice, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) former Governor had approached the Federal High Court in Abuja for ex parte order to restrain the Judicial Panel, from doing its work, but on the two occasions he was rebuffed by the courts.”
The statement added, ”The two attempts were rejected because he failed to put the state government on notice as directed by the courts.
“A source conversant with details of the two futile moves by Ikpeazu puts it in proper perspective:
“Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, the immediate past Governor of Abia State, had instituted Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/907/2023 DR. OKEZIE IKPEAZU & 3 ORS VS GOVERNOR OF ABIA STATE & 8 ORS in the Abuja division of the Federal High Court and same was assigned to his Lordship Hon. Justice Omotosho J.
“In that suit, Dr. Ikpeazu sought (by way of an Ex-Parte application) to secure an Ex-Parte order to restrain a Judicial Panel of Enquiry set up by the Government of Abia State to recover government properties and funds. His Lordship Hon. Justice Omotosho J. refused the Ex-Parte application insisting that the respondents be put on notice.
“He immediately withdrew the suit and filed a fresh one FHC/ABJ/CS/945/2023 Ikpeazu Vs INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE (IGP) & 8 ORS which was assigned to His Lordship Hon. Justice Obiora Egwuatu, who, also refused the Ex-Parte application to restrain the proceedings of the panel and gave the Claimant 2 (two) days to put the respondents on notice. He once again quickly withdrew the suit
“It is obvious that by withdrawing both suits and also refusing to put the Abia State Government on notice as directed by the court, it is clear that this is a subterranean exercise and patent manifestation of bad faith and a desperate attempt to use the court as a shield for the alleged criminal activities of his administration in Abia State.”
While vowing not to relent in recovering every dime stolen from the state, Otti stressed that his predecessor had not given up on his desperation to avoid probe but, “We have it on good authority that Ikpeazu is shopping for another court that would possibly give him the order to stop the probe. “
Otti had during his inaugural speech asked all those who looted the state treasury to return every Government property or fund in their custody as he would not allow them go unpunished.