Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, refused to grant former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha’s request for an order restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the state probe panel from investigating him for alleged fraud.
The judge stated this shortly after Okorocha’s counsel, Oba Maduabuchi (SAN) asked the court to make an order stopping the parties in the suit from going ahead with the probe pending the determination of the matter.
Though counsel to the 1st defendant (EFCC) was not in court, counsel to 2nd and 48th defendants, J.M. Madu, quickly interjected that the probe panel had not commenced sitting.
Madu assured the court that he would inform the Attorney-General of Imo State about the development and would urge them to respect the court not to begin sitting until the suit was determined.
Justice Mohammed then held that it would be of no use to grant a restraining order since Madu had undertaken to tell the parties not to go ahead with the probe pending when the matter would be determined.
Besides, the judge held that since the EFCC was not represented in court to hear its side of the story, it would be unfair to grant the request in the interest of justice.
In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/558/2020 filed on May 28, Okorocha, specifically wants the commission to end or suspend its investigation including all the petitions submitted to it by the Imo State government until the panel on contract set up by the same state government had concluded its probe on his government between 2011 and 2019.
Other defendants in the suit are the Attorney General of Imo, members of the Judicial Commission on Lands and Related Matters, members of the panel to investigate the activities of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC), members of the panel to investigate the status of the newly established tertiary institutions, members of the investigative committee for financial transactions in Imo State; Committee for the Review of appointments recruitments and related matters from 2015 till date and the Committee for the investigation of LGA among others.