On Friday, the Abuja Federal High Court adjourned until February 6 to make a ruling on an application filed by Senator Rochas Okorocha, the former governor of Imo.
Judge Inyang Ekwo set the date after lawyers for both parties went through their process and presented their arguments for and against Okorocha’s preliminary objection.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Okorocha, in a motion on a notification dated FHC/ABJ/CR/28/22 and filed on 28 October, requested that the charges and/or all priority Activities during his tenure as Governor of Imo from 2011 to 2019 were investigated.
Okorocha, who currently represents the Imo West Senatorial District, called the lawsuit “unlawful, baseless, oppressive and a gross abuse of court process.”
He said, “The investigation upon which the above allegations are based is the subject of Proceedings No.: FCH/PH/FHR/165/2021, in which the MP. Court, Coram Pam, J., entered final judgment on the petitioner’s suit. Declared unlawful and ordered that EFCC be prohibited from proceeding any further.”
But the EFCC said in its counter-testimony, dated November 18 and filed, that it had seen and read through Okorocha’s motion, dated October 28, “was grossly misleading and untrue, especially It’s paragraphs 3 and 4.”
The anti-corruption body urged the court to dismiss the application as unfounded.
After the matter resumed, Okorochas’ lawyer, Ola Olanipekun SAN, asked the court to grant the application and drop the 17 charges against his client
EFCC’s lawyer, KN Ugwu, disagreed with Olanipekun and urged the court to dismiss the motion entirely.
Similarly, Darlington Ozurumba, acting for Consolid Projects Consulting Ltd (5th defendant), also accepted his motion on notice seeking an order dismissing the charges against the firm.
He urged the court to dismiss and dismiss the entire lawsuit as an abuse of court process.
Opposing the application, Ugwu told the court that the 5th defendant could not benefit from a judgment to which he did not belong, urging the court to dismiss his arguments.
Judge Ekwo had scheduled on Wednesday to hear preliminary dissenting opinions from lawmakers today, NAN reported.
Okorocha as the first defendant was arraigned as the second to seventh defendants, along with Anyim Nyerere Chineye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited and Legend World Concepts Limited respectively.
NAN also reported that Judge Ekwo on May 31 admitted Okorocha to N500 million bail with a surety for a similar amount.
The judge also granted Okorocha’s co-accused Chinnye bail under the administrative bail conditions granted to him earlier by the EFCC.