Court Dismisses Ohakim’s No-Case Submission Against EFCC

Ikedi Ohakim, Court, EFCCThe Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a no-case submission filed by a former Imo State Governor, Ikedi Ohakim.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola struck out Ohakim’s suit which was filed through his counsel, Awa Kalu, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft agency made the ruling public on Thursday in a statement by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren.

Mr Ohakim is facing trial for allegedly making a cash payment to the tune of $2,290,000.00 (about 270,000,000 Naira) for the purchase of a property in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Ikedi Ohakim, on or about the January 26, 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, while under arrest for an offence under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act, 2004 knowingly failed to make a full disclosure of your assets by not declaring your ownership of the property known and described as Plot No. 1098 Cadastral Zone A04, Asokoro District- it is also known as No.60, Kwame Nkurumah Street, Asokoro, Abuja and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27(3)(c) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act, 2004 and punishable under the same section”.

The former governor had pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge when it was read to him.

Consequently, the prosecution presented a number of witnesses and tendered several documents, which were admitted in evidence to prove its case against the defendant before it closed its case.

At the last hearing on June 6, the defence filed a no-case submission against the prosecution.

In his ruling on Thursday, Justice Ademola stated that the prosecution had been able to establish its case against the defendant.

The case has been adjourned till October 10 and 13 for the commencement of the defence.

Supreme Court Adjourns Okorocha’s Suit To Jan. 2014

The Supreme Court in Nigeria has fixed January 24, 2014 for judgment on the suit filed by the governor of Imo State, Mr Rochas Okorocha challenging the decision of the Appeal Court in Owerri to allow Mr Ikedi Ohakim to join in the suit filed by Mr Ifeanyi Ararume.

Mr Ararume, who was the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria in the 2011 governorship election, had challenged the constitutionality of the May 6 supplementary election that brought Okorocha to power.

Mr Ohakim was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

At the resumed hearing of the suit in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, counsel to governor Okorocha, Mr Niyi Akintola adopted his brief of argument and prayed the court to rule in his favour.

The lawyer to the PDP, Mr Wole Olanipekun however informed the court of a preliminary objection he filed, saying the appeal by Governor Okorocha is an incompetent one.

Mr. Awa Kalu representing Mr. Ifeanyi Ararume, who did not challenge the suit, stressed that every litigant had a right of appeal.

It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal in a ruling delivered by Justice Hussein Mukhtar has dismissed Okorocha’s objection to Ohakim’s application and consequently made Ohakim an appellant in the case.

Okorocha in his Supreme Court appeal argued that Ohakim’s party, the PDP, had earlier challenged the subject matter of the suit at the election petitions tribunal and lost arguing further that the PDP also challenged the decision of the election tribunal at the Supreme Court and lost.

According to him, allowing Ohakim to challenge the high court’s judgment on appeal was to afford him the opportunity to pursue two remedies against the same infraction in two courts at the same time.