The Main Reason Why Ex Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha Was Arrested By EFCC.
According to reports, former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Mr Okorocha was arrested by operatives of the EFCC at about 4p.m. Tuesday at his Unity House private office in Abuja, sources familiar with the matter disclosed.
The former governor was arrested after a five-hour standoff with EFCC operatives who trailed him to the location.
Our sources said 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 a 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 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.
He 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 misgovernance 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.
Recall that over the weekend, Imo State Government accused Okorocha inciting youths to destroy state property.
The state made the allegation in a statement released by Declan Emelumba, commissioner for information, on Friday.
Last Monday, gunmen attacked the correctional centre and the police command headquarters in Owerri, the state capital.
Over 1,500 prisoners were reportedly freed in the attacks.
Hope Uzodinma, the state governor, blamed politicians for the incidents.
But Okorocha, who represents Imo west at the senate, said the governor should approach him for counsel rather than politicise the security situation.
“The recent attacks on the police headquarters and the correctional centre in Imo State, the unending herdsmen crises, the banditry, the unending Boko Haram, kidnapping – these are all products of poverty and injustice,” Okorocha said.
“While I call for peace and understanding, we have a duty as leaders to correct these ugly issues of injustices and poverty which are ravaging the country.
“Whoever is saying politicians are involved is trying to politicize the whole thing. I don’t think that any sane politician will go and ask youths to shoot at the police headquarters and all that.”
The commissioner flayed the former governor for blaming the attacks on poverty and injustice, saying Okorocha kept the people impoverished during his tenure.
Emelumba said Okorocha has refused to condemn the Imo attacks, adding that the former governor has been inciting northern youths to destroy state property.
“He is reaping political capital over the unfortunate incidents and had even gone ahead to incite northerners against the government and people of Imo state,” he said.
“It is a direct slap on the face of Imo people for Okorocha to say that the cause of the security breaches in the state was poverty and injustice when he greatly impoverished Imo people by mindlessly appropriating their commonwealth in a most unjust manner, as established by the judicial commissions of inquiry that investigated his tenure in office.
“Do you know the collateral damage that rascality and indiscretion has cost Ndigbo? As I speak, Northern youths are planning attacks against Igbo property in the north because someone chose to sell out for political patronage.”
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