Okorocha shuns arraignment on alleged N2.9b corruption charges
The planned arraignment of former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, yesterday, at the Federal High Court in Abuja on N2.9 billion corruption charges stalled, as the former governor shunned prosecution.
Okorocha, who now represents Imo West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, was absent in court and was also not represented by any lawyer.
However, six other defendants billed for arraigned along with him on 17-count corruption charges were in court along with their lawyers.
When the matter was mentioned for hearing, counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Cosmos Ugwu, told Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo, that Okorocha has been evading service of the criminal charges on him as required by law.
He said his security operatives had made it practically impossible for court officials to serve the former Imo governor personally.
“My, Lord, the business of today is ordinarily for arraignment but its regrettable that all efforts on our part to serve the first defendant, Okorocha have proved abortive.
“The security around him has not been helpful and I wish to apply for an adjournment to enable us serve him and then, arraign him.
Following failure of other defendants in the charge of the case to object to the request for adjournment, Justice Ekwo fixed March 28, 2022 to enable the EFCC to serve Okorocha the charge and take his plea.
The EFCC maintained that Senator Okorocha allegedly conspired with others, including a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and five companies to misapply N2.9 billion public funds in Imo State during his time as governor.
Besides Okorocha, 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 had invited the former governor for questioning in April last year for two days over alleged corruption before he was granted administrative bail.