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Judge’s absence stalls suit challenging court jurisdiction in Okorocha’s case against Imo

Judge’s absence stalls suit challenging court jurisdiction in Okorocha’s case against Imo
November 17
21:00 2021

The absence of Ahmed Mohammed, the judge of a federal high court in Abuja, has stalled the hearing of a suit filed against Rochas Okorocha, former governor of Imo.

The Imo state government had set up a panel to review all financial transactions of the state during the eight-year administration of Okorocha, now a senator.

On May 10, 2020, a committee said it uncovered N112.8 billion “dubious debts” owed the state by nine commercial banks.

The EFCC is also carrying out its own investigation and says it will prosecute the former governor.

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On May 18, 2020, Okorocha filed a suit seeking an order to stop the respondents from probing “the purported financial infractions”.

At a court session in July 2020, Joseph Madu, who represented the Imo state attorney-general and the third to 48th respondents, had challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain Okorocha’s suit.

The judge had, on September 22, 2021, fixed November 17 for hearing of the application challenging the court’s jurisdiction.

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According to NAN, at the last court sitting, Oba Maduabuchi, counsel to Okorocha, asked the court to fix another date to take the motion challenging its jurisdiction.

Maduabuchi also moved for an adjournment on the ground that he was bereaved.

The prayer for adjournment was not opposed by counsel to defendants in the suit, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/508/20, which was scheduled for hearing on Wednesday, could not proceed due to the judge’s absence.

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The court is yet to fix another date for the hearing of the suit.

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