Alleged fraud: Court rejects Okorocha’s bail plea
A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, refused to admit Sen. Rocha’s Okorocha, who is currently at the EFCC’s custody, to a bail. Justice Inyang Ekwo, instead, ordered Okorocha, through his lawyer, Ola Olanipekun, SAN, to put the anti-graft agency on notice.
The News Agency of Nigeria !NAN) reports that Olanipekun had, in an ex-parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CR/28/2022, prayed the court to grant Okorocha bail on liberal terms pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice filed on May 25.
The ex-parte motion was dated and filed May 26. But Justice Ekwo held that since the matter would be coming up on Monday, May 30, making an order for the release of the lawmaker on bail would be unnecessary.
The senior lawyer also hinted that he had also filed a motion on notice, seeking for his client’s bail. The judge, who fixed May 30 for the hearing of the motions, directed the lawyer to put the EFCC on notice.
NAN reports that Ekwo had, in the last adjourned date, given the anti-corruotion commission May 30 as the last time the matter would be adjourned following the EFCC’s complaint that it had been unable to serve Okorocha despite several efforts.
The judge had threatened to strike out the case if the EFCC failed to produce the senator in the next adjourned date, after two adjournments for his arraignment.
Operatives of the EFCC were said to have invaded Okorocha’s residence on Wednesday following his refusal to honour the anti-corruotion commission’s invitation after he was alleged to have jumped the administrative bail earlier granted to him. Okorocha was whisked away after some hours and remanded at the EFCC’s custody.
Okorocha, an APC presidential aspirant, is standing trial alongside others on allegations bordering on money laundering while he served as governor of Imo. He and others were expected to be arraigned before Justice Ekwo on Monday.