Maranatha University: Proprietor, others, risk jail term over alleged contempt of Court

The proprietor and promoters of Maranatha University, Mgbidi in Imo State stand the risk of jail terms for allegedly flouting Court orders in land grab case pending at the Federal High Court Owerri.

On Friday, the Hon. Justice Dalyop Pam led Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt granted an order of leave for the plaintiffs to move a motion to commit Maranatha University and its proprietor and servants to prison for alleged contempt of court.

The plaintiffs, Ogbonna Betram Dike and 2 others approached the court as a result of
alleged continuing announcement in the radio, newspapers and television on Maranatha University admission.

The plaintiffs averred that admission advertisement and opening of the institution was contrary to the pending injunction by the Federal High Court, Owerri issued on 23rd July, 2021 for both parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit.

The court adjourned the hearing of committal proceedings to 31st August 2021 for defendants to show cause why they should not be committed to prison for contempt for disobeying the order of court made on 23rd July 2021.

Meanwhile, BBNAIJA ONLINE” earlier reported that the Federal High Court Owerri stopped Maranatha University Mgbidi from the planned take off in September 2021 and ordered the parties to maintain status quo as at 23rd July 2021.

This followed the motion for injunction filed by the Dike Ada Royal family land owners and plaintiffs asking the court to restrain Maranatha University from taking off, admitting students or commencing academic activities on the land as planned.

The families of Dike Ada family of Umuchi Mgbidi, Oru West Local Government of Imo State joined the National Universities Commission (NUC), the Attorney General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Education, Maranatha University and 4 others as defendants and respondents in that suit.

The plaintiffs relied heavily on Supreme Court judgement of the Southern Nigeria in 1912 and the Appeal Court sitting in Calabar in 1916 in a Suit No. FHC/OW/CS/94/2020, “as shown in the ancient survey plan.”

Court stops Maranatha University from taking off pending determination of lawsuit