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BREAKING: Court Dismisses EFCC’s Suit Against Rochas Okorocha | READ WHY


BREAKING: Court Dismisses EFCC’s Suit Against Rochas Okorocha | READ WHY

The charges of alleged fraud and abuse of office filed against former Imo state governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been dismissed by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Delivering judgment on Friday, Justice Yusuf Halilu, ruled that the EFCC’s charges against Okorocha is an abuse of judicial process on the grounds that the anti-graft agency had filed a similar charge against the defendant at the Federal high court.

Recall that the EFCC alleged that Okorocha laundered N2.9 billion during his tenure as governor from 2011 to 2019.

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Okorocha had challenged the competency of the charge, arguing that there are subsisting orders restraining the commission from trying him with the same allegations.

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He argued that a federal high court in Port Harcourt, on December 6, 2021, granted an application stopping his prosecution, after faulting the process of investigation adopted by the agency.

Okorocha said since that order is still subsisting, the present charge by the EFCC is an abuse of prosecutorial powers and judicial process.

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He also cited a ruling of an Abuja federal high court delivered in February 2023, which dismissed a similar suit filed by the commission.



However, the EFCC had argued otherwise, stating that the fresh charge is different from the previous suits.

Delivering the ruling on Friday, the FCT high court held that the charge before it is a product of the same investigation which was invalidated by the federal high court in Port Harcourt.

Halilu said the judgement of the Port Harcourt court is still valid since it has not been vacated by a court of appeal.

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“An order made by a court is still valid until it is vacated by a competent court,” Justice Halilu said.

He said the EFCC ought to have “challenged the pronouncement of the federal high court, Port Harcourt” before the court of appeal and followed through till it is concluded.

Any step taken in filing any charge against the defendant which stems from the same investigation, cannot stand”.

“This court is bound hands and legs by the decision of the federal high court” the judge added.

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