- A federal high court, Abuja, has allowed Senator Rochas Okorocha to post bail of N500 million with a surety bond of the same amount
- The judge, who released the senator on bail, ordered his international passport to be deposited with the court’s clerk.
- Okorocha is said to have laundered funds amount of N2.9 billion while serving as Governor of Imo
The federal Supreme Court, sitting in Abuja yesterday, granted bail to the arrested former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha in the amount of N500 million with a bond of the same amount.
Trial Judge Inyang Ekwo approved Okorocha’s release on bail after he submitted a counter affidavit statement against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
EFCC, through its attorney, Mr. O.C. Ugwu, had asked the court to allow the former governor to remain in detention, alleging that he posed a risk of absconding.
< p class="align- left">Prosecutors alleged that Okorocha not only breached the administrative bail he had previously been granted, but also broke himself in, a situation that led to his violent arrest on May 24.
< p class="align-left" >She told the court that the former governor, who faces 17 money laundering charges, may interfere with some of the proposed witnesses.
“My Lord, on two occasions in a row, the first defendant (Okorocha) has evaded his charges by refusing to appear in court,” added the EFCC’s attorney, Mr. Solomon Umoh, SAN, assuring the court that his client would be available for his process.
Defense Counsel emphasized that his client, as a responsible citizen and presidential candidate, would not conduct himself in any way that would undermine the sanctity of the court.
Therefore, he asked the court for bail on the basis of self-awareness, or in the most liberal terms, noting that the charges against him included bail crimes.
Moreover , Umoh, SAN, argued that his client had his constitutional right to be presumed innocent until the charges against him were determined by the EFCC.
“My Lord, the Applicant is a man well known in this society. Therefore, the prosecution’s claim that he could not be reached for service of the indictment is not true, as he could be served by alternative means,” Umoh added.
In In his brief ruling, Trial Judge Ekwo said he wanted to exercise his discretion in favor of the defendant.
He directed the defendant to produce a guarantor who is a responsible citizen and owner of land in Abuja must be worth the entire bail amount.
The trial judge ruled that the guarantor must deposit the property’s original title documents with the court registrar for examination, even as he ordered Okorocha to keep all surrender his travel documents and not leave the country without permission.
He instructed the court registrar to write to the Nigerian Immigration Service NIS and inform them of the confiscation me of the accused’s passport and the need to always obtain permission before leaving the country.
The court ruled that the accused was in the care of the EFCC must stay until all the terms of his bail are met.
Similarly, the court also arrested the second defendant in the case, Mr. Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, who is a Chiefta Bail released by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on administrative bail previously issued to him by the EFCC.
Judge Ekwo then adjourned the matter until the 7th, 8th, November 9, 10 and 11 in court.
My father’s arrest is political – Okorocha’s daughter
Legit.ng previously reported that the daughter of the Senators, Uloma Nwosu, claimed her father’s arrest was politically enabled.
She claimed white ter that her father had not been questioned by the anti-graft agency since his violent arrest at his residence in Abuja.
Meanwhile, the EFCC denied the allegation that Senator Rochas was arrested on the premise that he would skip administrative bail, which he was previously granted in his earlier case with the commission.
Okorocha faces 17 money-laundering charges /h2>
Okorocha is reportedly facing 17 money laundering counts.
It has been determined that while Senator Rochas was governor of Imo State was involved in a N2.9 billion fraud.
Also implicated in the fraud allegations is Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, an APC supporter alongside five companies; Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited and Legend World Concepts Limited.
As claimed by the EFCC, Rochas and his cohorts worked together to divert public funds to a private account for personal use.