The former governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha, has pleaded not guilty to the 17-count money laundering charges the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, filed against him and six others before a Federal High court in Abuja.
The former governor was arraigned alongside a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, and five companies- Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited.
When the charge was read to him before trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, Okorocha said;
“I understand the charge against me, but I am not guilty my lord”
Okorocha’s lawyer, Mr. Okey Amaechi, SAN, had asked the court to grant the former governor bail pending the determination of the case against him. He argued that the former governor was roughly arrested by the EFCC operatives last Tuesday.
“My lord, without a warrant of arrest from this court, they went into the house of the defendant, broke into it and arrested him in a gestapo manner” he said
However, EFCC, through its lawyer, Mr. Gbolahan Latona, told the court that Okorocha raised some issues in his bail application that would require its response.
While adjourning the matter till Tuesday, May 31, to hear bail applications of the defendants, Justice Ekwo ordered that Okorocha and the other defendants be remanded in EFCC custody pending the determination of their bail request.
The court equally fixed November 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 for trial.