…As EFCC explains siege

 

The Economic Financial Crimes Commission’s act of laying siege on Senator Rochas Okorocha’s house has been described as a breach of the fundamental human rights of the Senator which has to stop.

In a statement shortly after the arrest, Counsel for Senator Rochas Okorocha, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), decried the siege, stating that the EFCC presented no warrant of arrest.

He said, “Before now,there were issues on the ground there were extant court orders restraining arrest, restraining interrogation.

“There are court orders made by the federal high court in Abuja and Port Harcourt restraining interrogation on this matter.

“So what I have sought to do is to ask, were there letters for the invitation? There are none.

“Were there any warrants for arrest? There is none.Are there court processes to be served? There are none. In fact, processes of court are served by court officials. Who are the bailiffs of the court?”

He noted that the siege was unnecessary as he wasn’t caught committing an offence.

“If you caught him committing an offence then you can arrest him there and then. Do you have a warrant of arrest? None is available in this case.

“You can invite him,write to him or even call him on the phone and ask him to oblige you to come, agree to a date and the gentleman will show up. All this siege is unnecessary.

“I, therefore, say it’s a breach of the fundamental human rights of citizen Rochas Okorocha and it has to stop.”

Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has advanced reasons why its personnel occupied the Abuja home of a former governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha, to effect his arrest on Tuesday.

The anti-graft agency said the action followed the refusal of the former governor to honour invitations after jumping the administrative bail earlier granted him by the Commission.

The EFCC gave the explanation in a statement shared on its Facebook page on Tuesday.

The statement read, “Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on May 24, 2022, arrived at the Maitama, Abuja home of a former governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha, to effect his arrest.

“The move followed the refusal of the former governor to honour invitations after jumping the administrative bail earlier granted him by the Commission.

EFCC had on January 24, 2022 filed a 17-count criminal charge bordering on diversion of public funds and properties to the tune of N2.9billion against Okorocha.

“The case was assigned to Honourable Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja but attempts to arraign Senator Okorocha were twice stalled owing to the absence of the ex-governor who evaded service of processes.

“At the last adjourned date, March 28th, 2022, Justice Ekwo before adjourning until May 30th, 2022, had warned that it was “the last adjournment I shall grant in this matter”.

“In the circumstances, the Commission is left with no option than to effect the arrest of Senator Okorocha and bring him to trial.”

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