Detained Rochas Okorocha Speaks From EFCC Custody
Former Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Vondigest.com reports that these are certainly not the best of times for former Imo State Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha who has been whisked away by financial watchdog.
This online news platform understands that Okorocha was arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at about 4 P.M. Tuesday at his Unity House private office in Abuja.
The former governor was arrested after a five-hour standoff with EFCC operatives who trailed him to the location.
Vondigest.com gathered that the anti-graft agency had repeatedly invited the former governor to its Abuja headquarters in connection with multiple corruption allegations against him.
Mr. Okorocha, who is now Senator, reportedly declined to honour the invitation, a development that infuriated detectives who fanned out to get him.
The politician is currently being interrogated at the EFCC headquarters and it is unclear if he would be allowed to go home today.
Details of the allegations against the senator are sketchy but our sources said they are related to suspected monumental graft during his eight-year reign as Imo Governor.
Mr. Okorocha’s spokesperson, Sam Onwuemeodo, could not be reached Tuesday evening to comment for this report.
When contacted, EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the former governor is in his agency’s custody but declined further comments when pressed for details of the allegations against the politician.
Since he left office as governor in 2019, Mr. Okorocha has been having a running battle with his successor, Governor Hope Uzodinma, who accused him of miss-governance and corruption during his tenure. Both men are members of Nigeria’s ruling party, APC.
On February 21, the former governor was arrested by the police for unsealing a hotel owned by his wife but which was shut by the Imo State government. He was later released.
In November 2020, the EFCC’s zonal office in Enugu arraigned Lasberry Anyanwu, a former commissioner who served under Mr. Okorocha. He was charged with stealing and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N180 million.
Meanwhile, the arrested Senator, Rochas Okorocha has spoken from EFCC net on his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged misappropriation of public funds.
Speaking through his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, the former governor said since the anti-graft agency was doing its job, he would cooperate with the officials.
Although an EFCC official confirmed Okorocha’s arrest, the ex-governor claimed he was only invited by the anti-graft agency.
“To us, the Commission is doing its job and should be given the needed cooperation and Okorocha being a law-abiding citizen, would always cooperate with the commission over the matters in courts.
“EFCC is not a slaughterhouse, but a very responsible institution and should be seen as such,” Onwuemeodo said.
He maintained that the former governor is being investigated because of the new leadership at the commission.
According to him, “The truth is that Okorocha left as the governor of Imo State on May 28, 2019 and shortly after his exit as governor, Imo State Government wrote petitions upon petitions against him.
“The EFCC investigated the petitions and has been in various courts of the land with Okorocha, to that effect.
“And if the EFCC has decided to invite Okorocha for clarifications on the matters already in court, especially with a new chairman at the helm of affairs at the commission, there is nothing wrong with that.
“The matters between EFCC and Okorocha over his governorship in Imo have been pending in various courts of the land.
“At the end of the day, we would know whether the Commission will be withdrawing the cases in courts or would continue with the cases already in court.”