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Absence of judge stalls Okorocha’s suit against Imo govt, EFCC



Absence of judge stalls Okorocha’s suit against Imo govt, EFCC

The absence on Wednesday of Judge Ahmed Mohammed from the Abuja Federal High Court blocked a lawsuit by former Imo governor Rochas Okorocha against the state government and others.

Judge Mohammed had, on September 22, set the hearing of a claim today, challenging his jurisdiction in the lawsuit brought by Okorocha.

The last date adjourned, the lawyer for former governor, Oba Maduabuchi, SAN, had urged the court to set another date to take the petition, challenging his jurisdiction, and requested an adjournment on the grounds that he was in mourning .

The adjournment request was not opposed by lawyers for the defendants in the trial, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Although the trial marked: FHC / ABJ / CS / 508/20 was number 14 on Wednesday’s list of cases, the case could not proceed due to the judge‘s absence.

NAN reports that Okorocha, who currently represents the Senate district of Imo West, in a complaint filed on May 28, 2020, urged the court to prevent the EFCC and others from questioning him.

While the EFCC is the 1st respondent, the 2nd to 48th respondents are the Attorney General (AG) of Imo and members of the seven panels set up to investigate previous state administrations.

NAN also reports that Okorocha on June 29 urged the court to issue an order overturning the seizure and sealing of some of his property by the state government.

Mr Okorocha also asked the court to prevent the defendants from investigating him or implementing the recommendations of the seven commissions set up to question him while he served as state governor between June 2006 and May 2019, pending the hearing and the decision on the merits.

Meanwhile, Eze Duri-Ihuoma, SAN, who is the 44th defendant and appearing for himself in the case, told NAN shortly after the case was adjourned on September 22 that the complaint filed by Okorocha did not disclose any reasonable cause of action, therefore, the court had no jurisdiction to hear it.

According to him, the competence in the matter is not there in action and that the request is foreign to the law.

“The applicant claims that because the EFCC is investigating him, the state government should cross his hands and not probe him.

“It’s alien. Some of us had also argued that the former governor simply said “extend my immunity”.

“But his immunity ended when he left office and he wants that immunity extended,” he said.

The lawyer said he hoped the lawsuit would be dismissed as it was unfounded.

However, at the time of filing the report, the court had not yet set another date for the case.


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