Court Discharges Okorocha from N2.9bn Corruption Charges, Citing Abuse of Court Processes

Rochas Okorocha, EFCC, corruption charges, High Court, abuse of court processes, Imo State, fraud, litigation, court jurisdiction
Okorocha


The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has discharged former Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State from corruption charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Justice Yusuf Halilu dismissed the charges filed by the anti-graft agency, citing abuse of court processes. 


This is the third time Okorocha has been freed by courts in relation to alleged fraud and corruption committed while he was governor between 2011 and 2019. The court held that it was wrong for EFCC to continue to file similar charges against a defendant in different courts, particularly when a court of competent jurisdiction had already decided on the matter. 


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The court cited the earlier judgement of a court of coordinate jurisdiction sitting in Port Harcourt, which restrained the agency from further proceeding on the alleged offence. The court advised the anti-graft agency to accept that there must be an end to litigation and warned against the practice of abusing court processes. 


Okorocha had been accused of embezzling the sum of N2.9 billion belonging to the Government of Imo State. However, Justice Inyang Ekwo had earlier struck out the charges for contravening Section 105 (3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, which gives the Attorney-General of the Federation the power to recall a case.


The discharge of Okorocha by the High Court of the FCT is expected to put an end to the legal battles between him and the EFCC. It also highlights the need for the anti-graft agency to operate within the law and respect court decisions.

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