Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, threatened to strike out the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s case against former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, over the commission’s inability to serve the defendant with the charges.
The judge gave the warning following a complaint by the EFCC counsel, Cosmas Ugwu, that all efforts by the agency to effect service of court processes on Okorocha had been unsuccessful.
The commission filed a 17-count charge of fraud and money laundering against the Imo West senator and six others in February.
Other defendants are – Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited.
The EFCC accused the defendants of stealing N2.9billion belonging to the Imo State government.
Justice Ekwo had on February 22, adjourned the arraignment of the defendants till March 28 over the inability of the anti-graft agency to serve Okorocha with the charges.
But when the matter was called on Monday, Ugwu informed the court that the matter had been slated for arraignment of the defendants.
He, however, said the first defendant was yet to be served with the charge.
The counsel said several efforts made to effect the service so that all the defendants could be charged together were unsuccessful.
“In view of this, we plead with my lord to graciously accommodate us with an adjournment,” he said.
Justice Ekwo reminded Ugwu that he gave the same excuse when the matter came up for hearing on February 22.
He said: “One month plus you are still coming to say you are yet to serve the defendant with the charges.
“This will be the last time this matter will be adjourned.”
He then adjourned the matter till May 30.
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
SPECIAL REPORT: World Bank road projects go bad in Enugu, as state govt fails to fulfill promise
Counterpart funded road projects between the world Bank and Enugu State government have started to fail, as the state government...
INVESTIGATION: How N70m road construction created more hardship for Sokoto residents
“To address recurrent accidents on Gagi to Gidan Dilo road and Fakon Idi roads, in Sokoto State, the Federal Government,...
INVESTIGATION: Inside Kwara school where students are used as labour on teachers’ private farms
In this report, SHEREEFDEEN AHMAD uncovered how young students in Kwara State, Nigeria, are being used for labour work on...
INVESTIGATION: How Kano SUBEB awarded contracts to inactive contractors, non-existent schools
In an effort to address issues hindering quality education, the Kano State Government in 2020 awarded N88,406,667.10 for the construction...
SPECIAL REPORT: Hike in gas price forces more Nigerians to use coal, sawdust, as smoke kills 93,300 yearly
In the build-up to the 27th Conference of Party (COP 27), Nigeria recently launched its energy transition plan (ETP) as one of...