The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has refused to grant a bail application by an All Progressives Congress presidential hopeful, Rochas Okorocha, to be released from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Okorocha, a former governor of Imo State, and senator representing Imo West at the National Assembly, is being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency over alleged fraud of N2.9 billion.
In a ruling delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo on Friday, he denied an ex-parte application Okorocha brought to secure bail from EFCC custody.
EFCC operatives had on Tuesday arrested Okorocha at his Abuja residence after besieging the home
for about seven hours.
The Commission accused him of refusing to make himself available for trial in a 17-count money laundering charge that is pending against him before the court.
It added that Okorocha deliberately had been evading service of the charge on him.
Though Justice Ekwo earlier adjourned the case till Monday for arraignment, Okorocha, through his team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, approached the court to enforce his fundamental human rights.
He accused the anti-graft agency of violating his rights, insisting that his arrest and continued detention was illegal and unconstitutional.
More so, Okorocha, alleged that he was being unnecessarily witch-hunted by the EFCC, even as he drew attention of the court to the fact that he is a presidential aspirant on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
He said his political ambition would be jeopardized, unless the court intervened in the matter by ordering his immediate release on bail.
In his ruling on Friday, Justice Ekwo ordered the Applicant to go and put the EFCC on notice to enable it to respond to the bail application.