A former Imo State governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja over allegations of fraud.
Although, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which arraigned him, sought for adjournment till Wednesday for arguments on his bail, Justice Inyang Ekwo ruled that he would take all the bail applications today and directed the anti-graft agency to endeavour to file its opposition within time.
Justice Ekwo subsequently ordered Okorocha’s further detention till today when his bail application would be argued.
The former governor pleaded not guilty to the N2.9 billion corruption charges brought against him by the federal government.
Okorocha in the 17-count charges, was accused of diverting N2.9 billion from the Imo State Government House Accounts and that of Imo State Local Government Joint accounts to private companies.
The alleged fraud was said to have been perpetrated by Okorocha and one Anyim Inyerere with the use of their private companies between 2014 and 2016 when he held sway as the executive governor of Imo State.
Though he denied all the charges, Okorocha had, however, engaged the services of four Senior Advocates of Nigeria SANs comprising Okey Amaechi, Solomon Umor, Ola Olanipekun and Kehinde Ogunwumiju to defend him.
Shortly after the taking of plea, EFCC counsel, Gbolahan Latona, asked the judge for an adjournment to enable him assemble his witnesses that would testify during trial.
He informed the court that 15 witnesses had been arranged to testify against the All Progressive Congress presidential aspirant and that most of the witnesses were outside the court jurisdiction because of the peculiar nature of the charge.
Okorocha’s counsel, Okey Amaechi, told the court that he had filed an application for bail of his client and had also served the same on EFCC.
He attempted to argue the application but was opposed by the anti-graft agency which claimed that it intended to file a counter affidavit against the bail issued.