N2.9 billion is said to be involved. Rochas Okorocha assures the court that he is not guilty of fraud.



Rochas Okorocha, the former governor of Imo state, has pleaded not guilty to the 17-count money laundering accusations brought against him and six others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Okorocha was charged with five companies, including Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited, as well as a senior member of the All Progressives Congress, Anyim Nyerere Chinenye.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, the former governor, remarked when the charge was read to him in front of the trial judge:

"I understand the charge levelled against me, but my lord, I am not guilty."

All of the other suspects pled not guilty to the accusation filed on January 24. According to the EFCC, Okorocha, who served as governor of Imo state from 2011 to 2019, misappropriated roughly N2.9 billion from the state government.

Mr. Okey Amaechi, SAN, Okorocha's counsel, had sought the court to grant the former governor bail awaiting the outcome of the case against him. He said that the former governor was apprehended by EFCC agents last Tuesday.

"My lord, they went into the defendant's residence, smashed into it, and arrested him in a gestapo way without a warrant of arrest from this court," he added.

However, the EFCC told the court through its counsel, Mr. Gbolahan Latona, that Okorocha highlighted various problems in his bail application that required a response from the EFCC.

While adjourning the case to Tuesday, May 31 to hear the defendants' bail applications, Justice Ekwo ordered that Okorocha and the other defendants be held in EFCC prison pending the outcome of their bail applications.

Trial dates have been set for November 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.


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