A serving member of the House of representatives, Paschal Obi, has said that he does not own the N1.5bn worth Dews of Hope Specialist Hospital Limited, Owerri, fortified to the Federal Government by a Federal High Court in Owerri, last week.
Obi, who represents Ideato South/Ideato North Federal Constituency of Imo State at the House of Representatives, was the principal secretary to the immediate past governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had alleged that the hospital was acquired with proceeds of corruption.
The lawmaker, in a statement issued in Owerri on Tuesday by his Senior Legislative aide, Peter Ezeala, said he was not a director at the hospital, nor was its financier, owner or promoter.
Obi said the media reports which alleged that the forfeited hospital belonged to him were carried out to blackmail him and other ex-Governor Okorocha’s ex-aides.
The statement said, “For some days now, stories with the referenced caption have been trending on the social media. It has also been carried by conventional media outfits.
“We have delayed our response to the story to enable us to find out, first, how a matter that has been pending at the Federal High Court, Port-Harcourt in Suit No: FHC/PH/93/2019 suddenly landed in Owerri and was heard and determined without notice to the interested parties in Suit No: FHC/OW/CS/132/2019.
“Having made this point, we want to make these clarifications:
“That the suit concerning the Dews of Hope Specialist Hospital was filed by the EFCC at the Federal High Court, Port-Harcourt, in Suit No: FHC/PHC/MISC/93/209.
“That the owners of the hospital made applications and provided documents from the Corporate Affairs Commission showing that Dr. Paschal Obi is not the owner of the said hospital.
“That, based on the facts available to it, the EFCC filed a preliminary objection on 7/8/2019 challenging the competence of Dr. Paschal Obi in the matter, asserting that Dr. Paschal Obi is not a director in Dews of Hope Specialist Hospital and is not also the financier, owner and the promoter of the hospital.
“Following the further application made by the EFCC, the Honourable court made an order on 12th September 2019 deleting the name of Dews of Hope Specialist Hospital from the list of properties forfeited in the interim to the Federal Government. It remains a surprise how the matter surfaced again at Owerri with the ruling of 6th Dec 2019.