From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The planned arraignment of former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over alleged N2.9 billion fraud, has been stalled at the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
The development followed the inability of the prosecuting agency to effect service on the former governor, now a serving Senator.
Although other defendants in the matter were in court, Senator Okorocha was visibly absent in court.
The prosecution counsel, Cosmas Ugwu, informed the court about his inability to serve Okorocha who is listed as the first defendant in the charge.
He told the court that he had made fruitless efforts to effect service of the former governor and pleaded for more time to do so.
Counsel to the second -fourth defendants, Chief Oba Maduabuchi (SAN), as well as the fifth defendant did not object to the request by the prosecution counsel.
In the absence of any objection to the oral application by the prosecution counsel, Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned the matter to March 28, 2022, at noon.
The anti- corruption agency had slammed a 17- count charge against the former Imo state governor, now a serving Senator, over his alleged complicity in a N2.9 billion fraud.
Others charged with him include a chieftain of the All Progressive (APC), Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, and five companies- Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolide Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited and Legend World Concepts Limited.
EFCC alleged that the Defendants had, between October 2014 and February 2016, conspired and diverted public funds into private accounts for their personal use.
It alleged that the defendants sequentially siphoned funds from the Imo State Government House account and Imo State Joint Local Government Project account, and diverted the same into accounts of private firms.