Okorocha writes NJC, seeks dismissal of EFCC’s petition against judge

Okorocha writes NJC, seeks dismissal of EFCC’s petition against judge

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has urged the National Judicial Council to dismiss a petition written by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court.

The judge had ruled in Okorocha’s favour in a fundamental rights enforcement suit he filed against the EFCC.

However, the EFCC petitioned the NJC, accusing the judge of professional misconduct.

In opposition to the EFCC petition, Okorocha wrote to the NJC, praying that the petition against Justice Taiwo be dismissed.

He said, “Contrary to the impression being created by the EFCC through its chairman, the order granted by Honourable Justice Taiwo was made in pursuant to two fundamental human rights suits that I filed before the court.”

The governor contended that the move against him by the EFCC “smacks of political vendetta and persecution.”

According to him, “It is trite that Chapter IV, Section 46 (1) of the 1999 Constitution states that, ‘Any person who alleges that any of the provisions of this Chapter has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in any state in relation to him may apply to a High Court for redress”.

“It is totally mischievous and misleading for the EFCC or its Acting Chairman to claim that the Honourable Justice Taiwo made orders that restrained it from performing its statutory duties. Nothing could be farther from the truth. What the court gave was an interim order meant to prevent any of the parties from foisting a fait accompli on it.”

He said he filed the fundamental rights suits after EFCC operatives ransacked his house in Jos, Plateau State, in May 2017 with the hope of finding something incriminating against him but they found nothing.

Okorocha however called on the NJC Chairman and the FHC Chief Judge to counsel EFCC to demonstrate confidence in the ability of its lawyers to defend it and that of the judiciary to dispense justice instead of making “hollow attempt at forum-shopping and name-calling.”