Former Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, Monday, finally appeared before a Federal High Court in Abuja where he pleaded not guilty to the N2.9 billion corruption charges brought against him by the federal government.
In a 17-count charges, Okorocha was accused of diverting N2.9 billion from Imo state hovernment 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 governor.
Though he denied all the charges, Okorocha has however engaged the services of four Senior Advocates of Nigeria SANs comprising Okey Amaechi, Solomon Umor, Ola Olanipekun and Kehinde Ogunwumiju to defend him from the grevious allegations against him.
Shortly after taking plea, EFCC counsel, Gbolahan Latona, asked the Judge for an adjournment to enable him assemble his witnesses that will testify during trial.
He informed the court that 15 witnesses have been arranged to testify against All Progressive Congress (APC) 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 application for bail of his client and had also served same on EFCC.
He attempted to argue the application but was opposed by the anti-graft agency which claimed that it intends to file counter affidavit against the bail application.
Although, the EFCC’s lawyer sought adjournment to June 1 for arguments on bail, Justice Inyang Ekwo ruled that he would take all the bail applications on May 31 and directed EFCC to endeavor to file its opposition within time.
Justice Ekwo subsequently ordered Okorocha’s further detention till May 31 when his bail application would be argued.