The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned Senator Rochas Okorocha, the former Governor of Imo State in a federal high court in Abuja.
He was arraigned on Monday before Justice Inyang Ekwo on a 17-count charge bordering on conspiracy to steal N2.9 billion in public funds during his tenure as Imo State Governor.
Recall that the EFCC had invaded his Abuja residence and arrested him following his refusal to honour their invitation.
What happened in court
Mr Okorocha was arraigned alongside six others including a chieftain of APC, Anyim Chinenye and five companies – Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited.
- They all pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
- Mr Okorocha told the court, “I understand the charge against me, but I am not guilty my lord,”
- Following his arraignment, his lawyer, Okey Amaechi, prayed the court to grant his client bail pending the determination of the suit. He also condemned the way by which his client was arrested.
- He said, “My lord, without a warrant of arrest from this court, they (EFCC) went into the house of the defendant, broke into it and arrested him in a Gestapo manner.”
- Counsel to EFCC, Gbolahan Latona, told the court that he wishes to respond to issues raised by Mr Okorocha in his bail application.
- Mr Latona prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him to assemble his witnesses that will testify during the trial as he has 15 witnesses to testify against Mr Okorocha.
- Justice Ekwo ordered that the defendants remain in EFCC’s custody and adjourned the matter for May 31, to hear the bail application.