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Court refuses to admit Okorocha to bail

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday refused to admit former Imo State Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha, to bail pending the determination of a suit he instituted against the federal government. Trial Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, declined to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release him on bail.

Okorocha had filed an ex-parte application in which he predicated his bail request on the ground that he is a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and that his political ambition would be jeopardised unless granted bail.

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Ekwo in a brief ruling on the ball application said he was not inclined to admit him to bail. Instead, he ordered Okorocha to put the federal government on notice to come and defend his detention.

Okorocha, who is the Senator representing Imo West in the Senate, has been slated for arraignment on N2.9b money laundering charges before the same judge twice but refused to honour the same court. The operatives of the anti-graft agency had on Tuesday arrested Okorocha at his Abuja residence in an operation that lasted over seven hours.

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The arrest followed an alleged refusal by the former governor to make himself available for trial in a 17-count money laundering charge that is pending against him before the court. EFCC accused him of deliberately evading service of the charge on him.

Although, the Court had earlier adjourned the case till Monday for arraignment, Okorocha, through his team of lawyers, led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), approached the court to enforce his fundamental human rights.

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