Court issues strong warning to EFCC on continued harassment of Okorocha

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Just In: EFCC Confirms Arrest of Rochas Okorocha

Stop Further Action On Okorocha, Court Orders EFCC

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to halt any further action against Senator Rochas Okorocha, the former governor of Imo State, until the case before it is resolved.

Senator Okorocha had approached the Federal High Court, presided over by Justice Stephen Pam, through his lawyer, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), to seek the enforcement of some orders made in his favour in a case between him and the anti-graft agency.

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According to Olanipekun, the court granted his client’s prayers on December 6, 2021, and ordered the EFCC to stop prosecuting Okorocha after criticizing the agency’s investigation process.

The court also ordered the EFCC to release the former governor’s international passport and travel documents, as well as prohibiting the EFCC from investigating or taking any other action against him.

The orders, according to Olanipekun, were based on the case they brought before Justice Pam last year, when the EFCC conducted an investigation and announced its findings in the media alleging that his client mismanaged the sum of N5.7 billion while serving as Governor of Imo State, without inviting Okorocha for questioning, an action he claims was an abuse of his fundamental right to a fair hearing and presumption of innocence.

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Olanipekun said he returned to the same Federal High Court 4 on Tuesday to seek the protection of his client’s rights because the EFCC has refused to obey any of the three orders previously issued.

He accused the EFCC of filing new charges against his client recently, based on the same investigation that the court had invalidated in December.

N.A. Dodo, Counsel to the EFCC, pleaded for more time to respond to the processes.

He denied that the EFCC was acting in defiance of the court’s decision, saying that the Commission had invited Okorocha to come pick up his international passport and travel documents, but that he (Okorocha) had failed to respond.

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The trial judge, Stephen Pam, expressed his displeasure with the EFCC’s handling of the case, stating that he would not tolerate contempt.

“I’m not a fan of disobedience. “Until this matter is resolved, your organization (EFCC) should not do anything to the applicant,” Justice Pam said.

“Whatever the order is, follow it. If you disagree with the decision, you may file an appeal. Allow no repeat of the drama that occurred in my courtroom in the case of Peter Odili vs. Nigeria Immigration.”

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