A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Friday, adjourned a decision on an application made by Senator Rochas Okorocha, the former governor of Imo, until February 6.
Justice Inyang Ekwo set the date after the parties’ attorneys adopted their procedures and stated their justifications for and against Okorocha’s preliminary objection.
Okorocha had requested an order tossing the charge and/or all counts of the charge brought against him as a result of the EFCC’s investigation into his actions while serving as governor of Imo between 2011 and 2019.
The motion on notice was dated and filed on October 28 and bears the file number FHC/ABJ/CR/28/22.
The suit, according to Okorocha, who currently represents the Imo West Senatorial District, is “illegal, unjustified, and repressive and a gross abuse of the process of the court.”
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 the final judgment at the suit of the applicant. declared unlawful and made an order prohibiting the EFCC from further proceeding.”
But the EFCC, in its counter affidavit dated and filed on Nov. 18, said it had seen and read through Okorocha’s motion dated Oct. 28, that “the depositions therein are grossly misleading and untrue particularly paragraphs 3 and 4.”
The anti-corruption agency urged the court to dismiss the application for lacking merit.
Ola Olanipekun SAN, Okorochas’ attorney, requested the court to allow the application and toss out the 17-count indictment brought against his client during the case’s resumed hearing.
K. N. Ugwu, the attorney for the EFCC, disagreed with Olanipekun’s assertion and urged the court to reject the request entirely.
Consolid Projects Consulting Ltd. (5th defendant), which was also represented by Darlington Ozurumba, approved his move on notice to have the accusation against the business dismissed.
He urged the court to reject the entire case because it was a misuse of the legal system.
Ugwu argued against the application, pleading with the court to reject his claim, that the fifth defendant could not profit from a judgment that it was not a party to.
In opposition to the application, Ugwu told the court that the 5th defendant cannot benefit from a judgement it was not part of, urging the court to discountenance his argument.
Justice Ekwo had, on Wednesday, fixed today for the hearing of the preliminary objection filed by the lawmaker.
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.
On May 31, Okorocha was granted bail in the amount of N500 million with one surety in the same amount by Justice Ekwo.
The co-defendant of Okorocha, Chinenye, was likewise given bail by the judge in accordance with the administrative bail originally given to him by the EFCC.
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