Immediate past Imo Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha has broken his silence about being in the custody of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged misappropriation of public funds.
Okorocha was arrested by the EFCC operatives at about 4:10pm on Tuesday at his Unity House office located at Garki, Abuja.
However, speaking through his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha said he was invited to give clarifications on matters already in court.
The former Governor expressed that since the anti-graft agency was only doing its job he would cooperate fully with it.
To us, the Commission is doing its job and should be given the needed co-operation. And Okorocha being a law-abiding citizen, would always cooperate with the Commission over the Matters in Courts. EFCC is not a slaughter House, but a very responsible institution and should be seen as such.
He maintained the Imo West Senator 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 Courts, 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 Courts.
Since he left office as governor in 2019, Okorocha and Uzodinma, both of All Progressives Congress (APC), have been at loggerheads as the governor has accused his predecessor of corruption and personalising state-owned properties during his tenure. Both men are members of Nigeria’s ruling party, APC.
It would be recalled that 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 Okorocha.
He was charged with stealing and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N180 million.
Also, in 2020, the anti-graft agency said it returnedN2.7 billion recovered from Okorocha to the state government.
Imam Usman, zonal head of the EFCC Port Harcourt office, stated that the returned fund is part of theN7.9 billion recovered from different bank accounts linked to the ex-governor.
Usman added that N2.5 billion was returned under the short-lived administration of Emeka Ihedioha, immediate past governor, while Hope Uzodinma, incumbent governor of the state, received N514 million.