Former governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has broken his silence following his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday, April 13.
Okorocha was arrested by the EFCC operatives at about 4:10pm on Tuesday at his Unity House office located at Garki, Abuja over alleged misappropriation of public funds while he was governor of Imo state between 2011 and 2019.
Speaking on what he was arrested for, a source in the commission told The Nation; “The ex-governor has been on the EFCC radar in the last three years over alleged N7. 9 billion money laundering. One of our investigators appeared in court and declared why he was wanted. He also has questions to answer on a separate N1.5 billion hospital built with funds from the Imo State accounts and traced to one of his former aides. On July 25, 2019, we invoked Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud, and other Related Offences Act 2006 to seize the hospital which ex-aide disowned. Okorocha has to explain the mystery behind the hospital. His former aide and members of board of directors of the hospital said they did not know how it was built. The managing director of the hospital, on invitation, could not also explain how the hospital project was funded. But, preliminary investigation confirmed that a former permanent secretary during Okorocha’s administration was a signatory to the hospital’s accounts. There may be other multiple cases as uncovered by the past and present administrations in the state. He is undergoing interrogation as I speak with you.”
In a statement released by his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha said 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”, Onwuemeodo said.
He maintained the Imo West Senator is being investigated because of the new leadership at the commission. “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”, Onwuemeodo said.