A Federal Capital Territory High Court has acquitted former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, of fraud charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Bellnews reports that the court, in a ruling on Friday, described the EFCC’s charges as an “abuse of judicial process.”
Justice Yusuf Halilu, who delivered the judgment on Friday, held that the charge filed by the EFCC was an abuse of court process, having been prosecuted previously by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Justice Halilu reasoned that the present charge was based on the same outcome of the investigation upon which the EFCC had filed the N2.9bn fraud suit at the Federal High Court Abuja against Okorocha.
According to Justice Halilu, it was unmeritorious for the court to enter judgment on a charge already dismissed by the Federal High Court Abuja.
This is the second time that Okorocha has been acquitted of the N2.9bn fraud charges. In February 2023, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja discharged and acquitted Okorocha of the charges, ruling that the EFCC had contravened section 105 (3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, by failing to comply with a directive from the Attorney-General of the Federation to discontinue the case.
Reacting to the latest judgment, Okorocha thanked God for another victory in the court, saying, “This is the third time courts of competent jurisdiction in the country have exonerated me of any wrongdoing.”
He urged the EFCC to continue doing its work within the ambit of the law, saying, “It is not about who has won or lost, but about this nation.”