June 24, 2024

N2.9bn Fraud: Court Dismisses EFCC’s Case Against Okorocha

A Federal Capital Territory High Court has dismissed the case against the former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court described the EFCC’s charges of fraud and abuse of office as an abuse of the judicial process.

The presiding judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, premised his judgement on the fact that the EFCC had filed a similar charge against the former Imo State governor at the Federal high court, which case was decided upon in favour of the former governor in December last year.

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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.

“An order made by a court is still valid until it is vacated by a competent court,” he 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,” the judge said.

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

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