Embattled former Governor of Imo State and presidential aspirant Rochas Okorocha, has urged a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday to declare the raid on his home by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as illegal and unconstitutional.
Okorocha, who is the lawmaker representing Imo West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, also demanded N1bn damages from the Federal Government for the May 24, 2022 invasion of his Abuja residence.
In a fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed by a constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome, the EFCC and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), was named as first and second respondents (SAN).
With the engagement of the services of Ozekhome, Okorocha now has five Senior Advocates of Nigeria to defend him
Ozekhome’s complaint was filed just hours after he appeared before a Federal High Court in Abuja, where he pleaded not guilty to the EFCC’s N2.9 billion corruption accusations.
Ozekhome is seeking a declaration that the unjustified siege on Okorocha’s home at No. 3 Nyasa Close, Mississippi, off Ontario Crescent on May 24, 2022, deprives him of his constitutional right to privacy, was illegal.
He also wants an order of the court directing the respondents to tender an apology in at least three national newspapers.
In the 17 counts charges against him, Okorocha was accused of diverting N2.9bn from Imo State Government House Accounts and that of Imo State Local Government Joint accounts to private companies.
The alleged offence 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 the Governor of Imo State.
Okorocha has hired Okey Amaechi (SAN), Solomon Umor (SAN), Ola Olanipekun (SAN), and Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN) to defend him, notwithstanding his denial of all charges.
Shortly after the taking of the plea, EFCC counsel, Gbolahan Latona asked the judge for an adjournment to enable him to assemble his witnesses that will testify during the trial.