Court Orders Interim Seizure Of Abuja Property Of Rochas Okorocha


AFederal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the interim forfeiture of a property at Plot 1032 & 1033 Cadastral Zone AO3, Takum Close, Off Michika Street, Ahmadu Bello Way, Garki Abuja, reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities of former Imo State governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha.

Justice Emeka Nweti gave the order while ruling on a motion ex-parte brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission pursuant to section 44(2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act No. 14 2006, seeking the forfeiture of the property on the grounds that they were acquired illegally.

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

In the ruling, the court directed that the interim forfeiture Order be published in the national dailies, alerting anyone with interest in the property to show a cause why it should not be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Justice Nweti adjourned till April 13, 2022 for consideration of the motion for final forfeiture of the property.

In 2020, EFCC said it returned N2.7billion recovered from Okorocha to the state government.

Imam Usman, zonal head of the EFCC Port Harcourt office, said the returned fund was part of the N7.9billion recovered from different bank accounts linked to the ex-governor.

Usman said N2.5billion was returned under the short-lived administration of Emeka Ihedioha, immediate past governor, while Hope Uzodinma, incumbent governor of the state, received N514million.

The zonal head added that the EFCC would prosecute Okorocha after concluding its investigation on him.

Okorocha and Uzodinma, both of the All Progressives Congress (APC), have been at loggerheads as the governor has accused his predecessor of corruption and personalising state-owned properties.