Court grants Okorocha’s plea to amend suit against EFCC, Imo probe panel

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, granted a request by the immediate-past Governor of Imo, Rochas Okorocha, to amend his suit filed against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and different panels set up by the state government to probe his eight-year administration.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in his ruling, dismissed the objection by the Imo Government to the proposed amendment noting that the proposed amendment, which sought to correct his lawyer’s mistakes in the processes earlier filed, was not to change the substance of the suit.

The judge ruled that in line with the precedent set by Supreme Court, the preliminary objection, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case could not stop the plaintiff from carrying out the amendment of an error noticed in his processes.

He added that when the court was confronted with two competing applications with one seeking to breathe life into the suit and the other seeking to kill it, the court must first hear the one seeking to breathe life.

“A party who notices defects in his processes can correct it and the preliminary objection will not stop the correction.

“The application for amendment is well founded and it is accordingly granted as prayed,” Mohammed ruled.

Okorocha’s lawyer, Mr Oba Maduabuchi, SAN, had said the amendment sought to correct the mistakes committed by his secretary while typing the document filed in court.

But the Imo Government, through its Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Cyprian Akaolisa, who opposed the application, argued that by virtue of judicial authorities, since he had filed a notice of objection against the suit, the plaintiff was not permitted to amend the suit.

However, EFCC’s lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho, did not oppose the application for amendment.

Okorocha, who currently represents Imo West in the Senate, had, on May 18, filed his suit seeking an order stopping the 48 respondents in the suit from probing “purported financial infractions” said to have been committed during his tenure as Governor of the state between May 2011 and May 2019.

Justice Mohammed, therefore, adjourned the case until Oct. 15 for mention.(NAN)

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