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Okorocha asks court to dismiss EFCC’s N2.9b fraud charges against him

SENATOR Rochas Okorocha, a former governor of Imo State, has requested a federal high court in Abuja to throw out money laundering accusations the federal government has brought against him.

According to the former governor, the fraud allegations brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on behalf of the Federal Government represented a flagrant abuse of the legal system and a purposeful abuse of prosecutorial discretion.

Okorocha’s attorney, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), submitted a preliminary objection against the accusations, outlining six reasons why they need to be dropped.

The former governor, who is now a senator, and others asserted that the charge is untrue, repressive, and a flagrant abuse of the legal system.

The federal lawmaker asked the court to grant him a dismissal or acquittal from the accusations.

The inquiry that led to the accusation, according to Olanipekun, was the focus of a different lawsuit his client had filed against the EFCC; as a result, the current charge, as written, constituted an abuse of the legal system and the prosecutor’s discretion.

Olanipekun stated in the preliminary objection that Okorocha had requested declaratory and prohibitory orders in the preceding lawsuit, and that these orders were still relevant before and after the charge was preferred.

Okorocha was the first defendant in the case, and the other defendants were Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited, who were listed in order of appearance from second to seventh.

The court has scheduled a hearing for the preliminary objection on November 22.

The date was set by Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo so that Mr. Gbolahan Latona, counsel for the EFCC, could address all of Okorocha’s accusations against his client.

The judge instructed the parties to complete and exchange all required paperwork prior to the planned day and stated that the application would be considered on the postponed date.

The EFCC charged Okorocha on May 30 with 17 counts relating to the laundering of N2.9 billion in public funds while he was the governor of Imo State.

On May 31, Okorocha and his co-defendants were granted bail in the amount of N500 million with one surety in the same amount by Justice Ekwo.

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