Wednesday, February 8, 2023


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had filed charges of fraud totaling ₦2.9 billion against the former governor of Imo, Rochas Okorocha, which the Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed on Monday. 

Inyang Ekwo dismissed the charges for violating section 105 (3) of the 2015 version of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), which gives the Attorney-General of the Federation the authority to recall a case. 

The decision related to a preliminary application Mr. Okorocha filed. As of the time the judge concluded the case on Monday, the EFCC had not yet started questioning witnesses. 

According to Mr. Ekwo, the EFCC must follow the instructions given by the AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, in a letter dated September 12, 2022, to forward the case file along with its comments on the issues for consideration and review. 

"All that the law required of the respondent (EFCC) was for the respondent to comply and not act as if it is not subject to the law or is exempt therefrom when directed by the HAGF (Honorable Attorney General of the Federation), pursuant to any enactment. 

"For the avoidance of doubt, the office of the HAGF is based on the provisions of the constitution and is thus preserved. 

He declared, "It is time to end the controversies and drama surrounding this trial proceeding.". 

The judge further ruled that the EFCC lost its legal ability to prosecute or continue the case's prosecution as of the moment the AGF gave the commission the directive. 

In other words, unless the HAGF directs otherwise, the prosecuting agency's authority in a criminal case is terminated by the HAGF's involvement. 

"In the end, I conclude that the respondent's failure to follow the HAGF's instruction as stated in Exhibit Okorocha 7 is fatal to this proceeding and has rendered it void. 

After the HAGF issued the order in Exhibit Okorocha 7, the respondent is not permitted by law to proceed with this case. 

As for Exhibit Okorocha 7, he continued, "Only the HAGF, upon the case file being remitted to his office as directed, can decide whether or not to charge the defendants.". 

Mr. Ekwo also concurred with the defendants that the earlier ruling of a Port Harcourt court of coordinate jurisdiction in suit number: FHC/PH/FHR/165 between Mr. Okorocha and the EFCC, prohibiting the organization from moving forward with the alleged offence, had not been overturned. 

Violating an active court order. 

He claims that the order is final until it is overturned. 

"The law is unaffected by a person's refusal to follow it; similarly, the law is unaffected by any individual's act of disobedience. 

The law turns its back on the person when they choose not to follow the rules, according to the law. 

"If that occurs, then every action or decision that person makes while engaging in non-compliance is unlawful, and the court will invalidate that act ex debito justitiae. 

He explained, "There is no device that can be used to salvage an illegal act. 

Mr. Okorocha and the fifth defendant (Consolid Projects Consulting Ltd.), according to the judge.)'s objections were upheld because they were valid, and the charge was dropped. 

"I hereby order the charge that gave rise to this proceeding to be dismissed. The defendants are discharged as a result, Ekwo said. 


The EFCC claimed to have received information about criminal diversion, abuse of office, and money laundering against Mr. Okorocha while he was in charge of the Imo State government between 2011 and 2019, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). 

According to the commission, the intelligence was examined and found to be accurate. 

The anti-corruption organization then charged Okorocha and others with 17 counts under the reference number FHC/ABJ/CR/28/22. 

Mr. Okorocha, who is the first defendant, was arraigned alongside Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited as the second through seventh defendants, respectively. 

While serving as the governor of Imo, he was accused of laundering $2.09 billion. 

But on May 31, 2022, Mr. Ekwo gave Mr. Okorocha a N500 million bail and one similar-sized surety. 

The co-defendant of Mr. Okorocha, Chinenye, was also granted bail by the judge under the terms of the administrative bail that had previously been granted to him by the EFCC. 

trial validity being contested. 

However, Mr. Okorocha, who is currently the senatorial representative for Imo West, had also filed a preliminary objection with the fifth defendant, requesting an order tossing the accusations made against him. 

The lawsuit was deemed by the senator to be "illegal, baseless, oppressive, and a gross abuse of the court process. ". 

The investigation, he claimed, "was the subject of suit number: FCH/PH/FHR/165/2021 wherein this Honorable Mr. Coram Pam Court, J. had, in the final decision at the applicant's lawsuit. declared to be unlawful and issued an order preventing the EFCC from continuing. ". 

The EFCC, however, claimed in a counter-affidavit dated and submitted on November 18, 2021 that it had read and reviewed Mr. Okorocha's motion from October 28, and that "the depositions therein are grossly misleading and untrue, particularly paragraphs 3 and 4". 

The court should reject the application because it is unfounded, the anti-corruption agency urged.

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