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Court denies Okorocha’s appeal for bail in alleged N2.9bn fraud case



A court on Friday refused to grant the bail application of a former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha who was dramatically arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently.

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, declined to grant bail to Rochas Okorocha, the former governor of Imo State, pending the outcome of a lawsuit he filed against the federal government.

The former governor’s appeal to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release him on bail was denied by Justice Inyang Ekwo.

Justice Ekwo stated in a brief ruling on Okorocha’s bail application that he was not inclined to admit the petitioner to bail.

Rather, the judge ordered Okorocha to notify the Federal Government of his imprisonment and to appear in court to defend himself.

Read also :Okorocha’s arrest by EFCC handiwork of sworn enemies afraid of his rising profile —Media aide

The former governor had submitted an ex-parte application, claiming that he was a presidential candidate and thus entitled to bail.

He informed the court that he was running for the governing All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential ticket and that his political ambitions would be jeopardised unless he was given bail.

On Tuesday, a team of EFCC officers invaded the former governor’s apartment in the Maitama area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in order to arrest him.

The squad, which demanded that Okorocha present himself to arrest or honour a long-standing invitation to their office, later besieged the presidential candidate’s home.

They stated that no members of Okorocha’s family will be permitted to leave the premises until the former governor is produced.

The EFCC slammed Okorocha, who currently represents Imo West senatorial district, with a new set of allegations over N2.9 billion fraud on January 31.

It filed the allegations in an Abuja court about the same time that the legislator announced his ambition to run for president in 2023.

Okorocha was accused of scheming to steal from the public coffers with others, including an APC member and five companies, although he has subsequently denied any culpability.

He emphasised that this was not the first time the agency had taken such action against him, which he claimed was politically motivated.

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