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Alleged N2.9b fraud: Court fixes rulling on application seeking to quash charges against Okorocha for February 6

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Chigozie Ikpo, Abuja
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday, fixed February 6, for rulling on application seeking to quash the charges against former Anambra State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.
Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo fixed for rulling after parties adopted their written addresses in the application.
Okorocha, who piloted the affairs of Imo State from 2011 to 2019, was arraigned by the EFCC on a 17 count charge alongside Mr. Chinenye and five companies, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited.
EFCC alleged that the defendants conspired and diverted funds belonging to Imo State, to the tune of about N2.9billion.
At Friday’s proceedings, Counsel for Okorocha, Ola Olanipekun SAN urged the court to grant their prayers and quash the charges against him.
Also, Counsel for the 5th defendant, Darlington Ozurumba aligned himself with the submissions of the learned Silk, praying the court to dismiss the application, as it is an “abuse of court process.”
Counsel for EFCC, Cosmas Ugwu asked the court to dismiss the applications of the defendants for lack of merit.
Justice Ekwo having listened to all parties fixed November 6 for running on the application.
Background of the Story
Efcct alleged that Okorocha and the other defendants sequentially siphoned funds from the Imo State Government House account and Imo State Joint Local Government Project account, and diverted same into accounts of private firms for their personal use.
The Anti-graft agency alleged that the offence was committed between October 2014 and February 2016.
However, the defendants took turns and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Okorocha, who is currently the Senator representing Imo West, earlier declared his intention to contest for presidency in the 2023 general elections.
He was however arrested by operatives of the agency, a few hours before the time his political party, the APC, was initially slated to screen its presidential aspirants.
The arrest of the former governor followed his alleged refusal to make himself available for trial.
EFCC alleged that he deliberately evaded service of the charge on him.
He was subsequently granted administrative bail of N500m on June 1, 2022 as he is barred from leaving the country until the determination of his case.

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