Okorocha, who currently represents the Imo West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, was tried on Monday before Judge Inyang Ekwo in the nation's capital. Our Correspondent noted that the courtroom was already full at 9am, with several others standing around waiting for the proceedings to begin.
The former governor is on trial for a 17 count charge of N 2.9 billion filed against him by the anti-graft agency. He was accused of conspiring with others, including an APC member and five corporations to steal from the public purse, though he has since denied any wrongdoing. The legislator took a stand in the dock when the proceedings began after which the charges were read to him.
In his response, he pleaded not guilty to the charges. The second defendant in the lawsuit, Anyim Chinenye, as well as the five companies also pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Okorocha's subpoena comes three days after he lost his candidacy to be admitted on bail, pending the determination of a lawsuit he had filed against the federal government. He based his bail request on the fact that he was a presidential wannabe, pointing out that his political ambition would be jeopardized if he was not given bail.
But Judge Ekwo, in a brief ruling on Okorocha's bail application on Friday, said he was unwilling to admit the plaintiff to bail, the judge ordered Okorocha to warn the federal government to come and defend his detention.
The former governor has been in the custody of the EFCC since Tuesday last week following a tragedy that occurred when a team of agents raided his residence in the Maitama area of Abuja to arrest him.
The team, which insisted that Okorocha should show up for arrest or honor a long-standing invitation to their office, later barricaded the presidential candidate's residence. After a series of dramas at the scene, gunshots were heard as the team from the anti-graft agency broke into Okorocha's home and left with the presidential aspirant to their office.