Court Fixes Nov. 22 To Hear Okorocha Demand To Quash N2.9bn Charge

A Federal High Court in Abuja, has fixed twenty two of this month (Nov 22) to hear a preliminary objection filed by Sen. Rochas Okorocha, praying for an order to quash the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, N2.9 billion charge against him.

Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the date to allow EFCC’s counsel, Gbolahan Latona, respond to the preliminary objection filed by Okorochas’ counsel, Ola Olanipekun, SAN.

The judge, who said that the application would be taken in the next adjourned date, ordered all parties to file and serve necessary processes before the scheduled date.

Okorocha, in the application marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/28/22 dated and filed on Oct. 28, had prayed for an order quashing the charge and/or all counts of the charge preferred against him as a result of the investigation by the EFCC into his activities while in office as governor of imo between 2011 and 2019.

Okorocha, who currently represents Imo West Senatorial District, described the suit as being “unlawful, baseless, oppressive and a gross abuse of the process of the court.”

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He also sought “an order discharging and/or acquitting the 1st defendant/applicant (Okorocha), pursuant to prayer (1) supra.”

Giving six grounds why the suit should be dismissed, the lawmaker said he was arraigned by the anti-graft agency on May 30 on a 17-count charge.

He said that the investigation “on which the said charge was predicated, was the subject matter of suit number: FCH/PH/FHR/165/2021 wherein this Hon. Court, Coram Pam, J. had, in final judgment at the suit of the applicant. declared unlawful and made an order prohibiting the EFCC from further proceeding.”

He, therefore, said that the present charge “is an abuse of prosecutorial powers and judicial process, as the said declaratory and prohibitory orders were and are still extant, at all times material, before and after the preferment of the charge,” among others.

The EFCC said it received an intelligence report about criminal diversion, abuse of office and money laundering against Okorocha while running the affairs of Imo State government.

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The commission said that the intelligence was investigated and confirmed to be true.

Okorocha, who is the 1st defendant, was arraigned alongside Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited as 2nd to 7th defendants respectively.

He was alleged to have laundered funds to the tune of N2.9 billion while serving as governor of Imo.

Justice Ekwo, had on May 31, admitted Okorocha to bail in the sum of N500 million with one surety in like sum.

The judge also granted Okorocha’s co-defenndant, Chinenye, bail in the terms of the administrative bail earlier granted to him by the EFCC.

Wahab Akinlade

Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

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