Court Denies Okorocha Bail in Alleged N2.9bn Fraud Case


A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to admit a former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, to bail pending the determination of a suit he instituted against the Federal Government.

Justice Inyang Ekwo declined the request by the former governor to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release him on bail.

In a brief ruling on the bail application filed by Okorocha, Justice Ekwo said he was not inclined to admit the applicant to bail.

Rather, the judge ordered Okorocha to put the Federal Government on notice to come and defend his detention.

The former governor had filed an ex-parte application in which he predicated his bail request on the ground that he was a presidential aspirant.

He informed the court that he was vying for the presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and his political ambition would be jeopardised unless he was granted bail.

Arrest Amid Drama

A mild drama played out on Tuesday when a team of EFCC operatives stormed the residence of the former governor in the Maitama area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to arrest him.

The team, who insisted that Okorocha must submit himself for arrest or honour a long-standing invitation to their office, later barricaded the residence of the presidential aspirant.

According to them, none of the members of Okorocha’s family would be allowed to leave the compound until they produce the former governor.

Following a series of drama at the scene, gunshots were heard as the anti-graft agency’s team broke into Okorocha’s house and left with the presidential aspirant to their office in the nation’s capital.

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Before his arrest, Okorocha had told Channels Television that he was being held hostage by the EFCC operatives.

He had also condemned the action of the team deployed to arrest him and vowed to remain indoors until a warrant for his arrest was shown to him.

The EFCC, on January 31, slammed Okorocha who presently represents Imo West senatorial district, with a fresh set of corruption charges to the tune of N2.9 billion.

It filed the charges at the court in Abuja about the same time the lawmaker declared his intention to run for the office of president in 2023.

Okorocha was accused of conspiring with others, including a member of the APC and five companies to steal from public coffers, although has since denied any wrongdoing.

He stressed that it was not the first time he would be facing such action from the agency which he said was politically motivated.


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