Court orders interim forfeiture of former governor Okorocha’s property over alleged corruption

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja .has ordered the interim forfeiture of  property belonging to  former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, which is situated in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory(FCT)

Penpushing reports that the order followed alleged corruption against Okorocha instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after showing the court that the property was illegally acquired.

The Head Media and Publicity of the Commission, Wilson Uwujaren  in a statement confirmed the court  order, and identified  the property located in the Garki area of Abujja as suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities of  Okorocha.

Penpushing further reports that, Uwujaren disclosed the full address of the property as Plot 1032 & 1033 Cadastral Zone AO3, Takum Close, Off Michika Street, Ahmadu Bello Way, Garki, Abuja.

The commission, it is recalled had in January filed a 17-count charge against  Okorocha, now a serving Senator representing Imo West, over allegations that he conspired with others, including a chieftain of All Progressives Congress(APC) and five companies, to steal N2.9 billion from public coffers.

Penpushing also reports that, the agency in a new development, disclosed on Thursday that it filed a motion ex-parte to seek the interim forfeiture of the property linked to the former Governor on the grounds that it was acquired illegally.

The commission explained that, its investigation  revealed that sometime in 2018, Abtisal Global Ltd and Archivisual Solution Ltd, companies in which Okorocha is believed to have interest, received N222, 000,000 from the Imo State Government Treasury to develop and improve on the said property.”

Penpushing reports that, the anti-graft said its application for the interim forfeiture was anchored on section 44(2) of the Nigerian Constitution and section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 2006.

The judge, Justice Emeka Nweti, granted the order of interim forfeiture, and directed that the order be published in the national dailies, to alert anyone with interest in the property to show cause why it should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Penpushing reports that, Nweti thereafter  adjourned until April 13, 2022 for consideration of the motion for final forfeiture of the property, while record has it that the interim forfeiture order came just some days after the commission lamented its inability to serve the ex-governor with the corruption charges it recently filed against him.

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