*Senator Rochas Okorocha targeted by the EFCC for prosecution with President Muhammadu Buhari
- Okorocha’s assets in Abuja, Owerri marked
- He will have his day in court
When the news was making the round that the former Imo State Governor, now serving Senator Rochas Okorocha and his All Progressive Congress (APC) party stole Imo State blind, some of his ill-informed supporters thought the media was just trying to rubbish him but today, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) confirmed what we knew all along that Okorocha plundered the state and even scrapped the bottom of the barrel before handing over to Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.
According to the EFCC, the former Governor and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, wants the senator to get ready for his day in court. It is only in Nigeria that people with record of stealing contest and win elections supervised by arbiter that is also owned by the federal government, which has all the powers to disallow such characters from contesting elections. People such as Okorocha rubbishes the APC and the government of President Buhari’s fight against corruption.
Speaking at the commission’s zonal office in Port Harcourt, Rivers on Thursday, the Zonal Head, Usman Imam, said N7.9bn belonging to Imo was seized from the former governor during EFCC investigations. Imam, who has been in charge of the ongoing probe of the former governor, said the commission returned over N5.7bn to various administrations in Imo to pay salaries and pensions of workers.
He said: “I started the Imo state case in Enugu and upon my deployment to this zone, the investigations of corruption allegations against the former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, was transferred from the Enugu zone to Port Harcourt for further investigations. Within the period, the commission succeeded in freezing about N7.9bn in different accounts. All the monies that were released to Imo State government were from the N7.9bn recovered from Okorocha. The monies were released in batches.
“N2.7bn was released in March for salaries. In the PDP government of Emeka Ihedioha, excess of N2.5bn upon series of writings and our insistence of monitoring it, was released to pay salaries and pensions because they were monies recovered from the state so it has to go back to the state. Then the government of Emeka left and this government came, we had a remnant of the money in excess of N2bn. We were able to release N514milion just last month because excess of about N1.8bn is encumbered with a court process. Contractors went to court and targeted the funds. The process is lingering. They still have excess of N1.8bn that is not released.”
Apart from the money recovered from Okorocha, the EFCC zonal boss said the senator’s assets were also identified in Imo and Abuja and seized by the commission. He said the commission filed a court process for interim forfeiture of the assets confiscated from Okorocha.
“The investigation has got to an advanced stage and we are expecting that on conclusion, we are going to arraign the former governor. It is in the course of investigations that we targeted his assets. Some are in Imo, Owerri and some are in Abuja. We marked these properties in Abuja, and we have filed court processes for interim forfeiture of these assets. The target is to conclude the investigations and he will have his day in court.”