Judge Alexious Okuma of the Athenian High Court, Onitsha, ordered the Anambra Regional Trade and Industry Commissioner, Dr Christian Ngonadi, and other department officials to stop harassing Ogbaru Main Market Chairman, Chief Ndubuisi Ochiogu, and his members. officers with security personnel.
Justice Okuma issued the order on Friday when a case filed by an Ochiogu-led official facing the trade commissioner and the State Attorney-General will be heard in the Onitsha High Court.
The order came after a lawyer in Ogbaru Central Market, Chief Ben Uzuegbu (SAN), complained that a court order requiring the status quo ante bellum had not been complied with by the commissioner and his officials.
Uzuegbu said the commissioner and government officials were harassing his clients through the police and the Department of Public Works.
State Attorney Loveline Ezude, from the Commission and others, accused Ochiogu and his officials of using criminals to harass and intimidate traders in the market.
Justice Okuma in his order said there was no need for government officials to involve security in a court case, adding that the government, like the father of them all, should always behave in a responsible manner. to do their jobs.
He warned that no trader in the market should be harassed, touched or stopped from doing his legitimate business.
Justice Okuma also warned that he should not hear that the market leadership was charging traders to collect money from the Judge, saying he would not hesitate to go to great lengths for anyone found to be involved in such an act.
He said if a trader had a problem, the commissioner and any other government official did not need to get involved in the matter knowing that the matter was in court, instead the matter should be taken to court.
Speaking to the media, Uzuegbu, said there were allegations that something had happened in the market but the Attorney General and the Commissioner were not present and the allegations were not against them, but the individual problem, they should not have gone to court. matter, when they knew that the merchants were in court and there was a Court order that the status quo ante bellum be maintained.
He said until the matter was resolved the president and all other people would work until a final order was issued.
“We do not know what the final decision will be, we can favor, if we oppose, go home or appeal. We are not in a stone age when anything you want to do you do or you have a problem with your brother starting to use your power. No. If a new community has a problem, report it to an independent mediator, which is a court, ”said SAN.
Uzuegbu said the court would look into the matter.
“If the court finally comes out with its decision. If you do not accept the decision, there is another court until you reach the Supreme Court, and leave it to God.
“It is important for this government that promised the people to follow the law and the proper procedures to live up to his promises. So far the judge has warned them to stop harassing the traders, ”he added.
The case was postponed to June 17, 2022, for further hearing.