The attention of our client, Resort International Limited (“our Client”) has been drawn to an invitation by the Government of Rivers State of Nigeria invitingthe public to a commissioning ceremony of “Justice Mary Odili Judicial Institute” built by the Rivers State Government at No. 6 Bank Road, Old G.R.A, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and scheduled to hold on Friday, 25th November 2022. The institute is named after a highly revered and celebrated retired Justice of the Supreme Court – Hon. Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-OdiliCFR.
The General Public is hereby notified that the parcel of land at No. 6 Bank Road, Old G.R.A, Port Harcourt, Rivers State upon which the said “Justice Mary OdiliJudicial Institute” has been built is the subject of a pending suit instituted by our client, in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/90/22 – Resort International Limited vs (1) Federal Republic of Nigeria, (2) Attorney-General of the Federation, (3) Government of Rivers State, (4) Attorney-General of Rivers State; currently pending before the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Judicial Division, Rivers State.
Our Client became the siesed of the said property by virtue of its acquisition of the same from the Liquidator of Nigeria Airways in 2005 and remained in undisturbed possession until sometime in October 2021 when a gang of heavily armed men invaded the property, forcefully took it over and demolished the buildings thereon. Investigations by our Client revealed that these persons were acting under the direct instructions and authority of the Government of Rivers State. All attempts by our Client to engage with the Government of Rivers State met with half-hearted responses and downright recalcitrance.
This prompted our client to commence Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/90/22 – Resort International Limited vs. Federal Republic of Nigeria & 3 Ors. on 1st June 2022, to challenge the wrongful, unjustifiable and illegalactions of the Government of Rivers State. All the parties have been duly served with the originating processes and they have since filed their responses. Indeed, the matter has been set down by the hearing on 6th December 2022 by the presiding Jude, the \hon. Justice Adamu Turaki Muhammed.
It is very unfortunate that despite the pendency of the above-mentioned suit and in flagrant violation of the principle of lis pendens, the Government of Rivers State continued to develop and construct a project on the said property and eventually completed the same without any regard whatsoever to the principles of lis pendensand that parties to a litigation are required to refrain from taking any steps that may foist the court with a fait accompli or render its eventual decision nugatory. This is the same project that the Government of Rivers State has now christened as the “Justice Mary OdiliJudicial Institute” – effectively and unnecessarily dragging the name of a highly-respected and erudite retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria into itspit of illegality and lawlessness.
We hereby use the medium of this Public Notice to urge all well-meaning and law-abiding Nigerians who have the interest of this nation at heart and who recognize the need to protect our system of administration of justice, our judicial system and the rule of law in general to associate themselves with this flagrant and wanton disregard for and denigration of the rule of law being perpetrated by the Government of Rivers State and its most senior officers at the highest levels. The said Institute has been built on a foundation of disrespect to judicial process and any form of association with the event will lend credence to outright illegality, brigandage and disrespect to the judicial system by the Rivers State Government of Nigeria.
Dated this 23rd day of November 2022