EFCC Brings Reinforcement, Threatens To Break Down Okorocha’s Doors

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday stormed the residence of former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.
Photo of former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday barricaded the home of the former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha in Abuja.

The operatives of the anti-graft agency brought in reinforcements to break the doors of the former governor’s house, after resisting arrest.

The Maitama home of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant was stormed by the EFCC over a long-standing invitation by the agency.

In a video obtained by Channels Television, the EFCC operatives were seen within the premises of the former governor.

They insisted that Okorocha, who is seeking to contest the presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), should submit himself for arrest.

Okorocha while reacting to the incident in an exclusive interview with Channels Television said he is being held hostage at his premises.

“I am under hostage I would say, the EFCC is at my house both the back and the front. I would say, I have enquired if they have an arrest warrant nothing, and  I am supposed to be getting ready for screening.

“I don’t know what is really happening, It is unfortunate that this is happening here”, he confirmed.

He asked for a search warrant or a court order before submitting himself to the anti-graft agency.

When asked if he would be submitting himself to the anti-graft agency, the presidential aspirant said, “I’ll be here until I know what it is, because this is something serious, I want to see an arrest warrant or a court order”, he added.

The EFCC had filed a 17-count charge to the tune of N2.9 billion against Senator Okorocha. in late January.

Okorocha, in the charges filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, was accused of conspiring with others, including a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and five companies to steal from the public coffers.

Others listed as respondents to the suit were Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited.

The charges were filed about the same time Senator Okorocha was declaring his intention to run for the office of the president in 2023.

The accused persons were alleged to have stolen the said amount belonging to Imo State and local government areas in the state in contravention of the Money Laundering Act 2011.

‘I Am Under Hostage’, Okorocha Reacts To EFCC’s Presence At His Premises

 

A former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has reacted to the presence of officers from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday at his Maitama residence in Abuja.

Okorocha who is vying for the seat of the President of Nigeria under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) told Channels Television that he is being held hostage at his premises.

“I am under hostage I would say, the EFCC is at my house both the back and the front. I would say, I have enquired if they have an arrest warrant nothing, and  I am supposed to be getting ready for screening.

“I don’t know what is really happening, It is unfortunate that this is happening here”, he confirmed.

Okorocha disclosed that his next line of action will be to hold a press conference, adding that the EFCC cannot stop the press from entering his compound.

“I am trying to address a press conference, Of course, the EFCC cannot stop the press from coming into my premises. They are inside my compound but the press is coming inside my house to interview me, they can’t stop them, he insisted”.

When asked if he would be submitting himself to the anti-graft agency, the presidential aspirant said, “I’ll be here until I know what it is, because this is something serious, I want to see an arrest warrant or a court order”, he added.

Operatives of the anti-graft agency stormed Okorocha’s residence on Tuesday,  barricading it, and ensuring that none of the members of Okorocha’s family would be allowed to leave the compound until they produce the former governor.

Ongoing Battle With EFCC

The EFCC had filed a 17-count charge to the tune of N2.9 billion against Senator Okorocha. in late January.

Okorocha, in the charges filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, was accused of conspiring with others, including a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and five companies to steal from the public coffers.

Others listed as respondents to the suit were Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited.

The charges were filed about the same time Senator Okorocha was declaring his intention to run for the office of the president in 2023.

The accused persons were alleged to have stolen the said amount belonging to Imo State and local government areas in the state in contravention of the Money Laundering Act 2011.

The charges claimed that the stolen funds were diverted between October 2014 and February 2016 from the Imo State Government House’s account and Imo State Joint Local Government Project’s account.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State would ask the EFCC to stop further action against Senator Okorocha until the determination of the case before it.

Senator Okorocha had through his lawyer, Ola Olanipekun (SAN) approached the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Stephen Pam to seek the enforcement of some orders, earlier made in his favour in a case between him and the anti-graft agency.

The court also prohibited the EFCC from investigating or carrying out any other action against the former governor, while asking the anti-graft agency to release his international passport and travel documents.

Presidency 2023: I Can Enhance Nigeria’s Unity – Rochas Okorocha

Okorocha Sets Up 21-Member Transition Committee
A file photo of Senator Rochas Okorocha.

 

The lawmaker representing Imo West district in the National Assembly, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has said that if given the chance to rule Nigeria come 2023, he will enhance the unity of the nation.

Okorocha, who stated this on Tuesday while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Political Paradigm, said Nigerians believe in his capability to unite the country based on his antecedents.

“Most Nigerians believe in me because of some of the key issues I have raised – which ranges from the unity of this country, for us to enhance the unity of this country; I can do that and Nigerians believe me for that,” Senator Okorocha said.

“They believe that when Rochas says he will unite the country if made the president, he will do so, primarily because of my track records or what I have done across the whole nation. I don’t segregate tribe or religion; I only see Nigeria,” the lawmaker said.

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Okorocha added that one major idea that he is pushing is that ahead of 2023, Nigerians must look at who cares for them and who can really make the unity of the country stronger.

The former Imo State governor said he did set himself apart from all others when he served his people, adding that prior to when he was governor and afterward, he showed a great love for the masses and the country as a whole.

“I have been able to prove that I have a compassionate heart, that I really care and I love this country – especially the needy, the poor, the widows, I have been able to listen to their cries through my foundation.

“I have done a lot across the nation, irrespective of tribe or religion. I do not see tribes, I see Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking on some of the things he will do if elected the next president of Nigeria, Okorocha said he will replicate the successes he achieved as governor of Imo State.

For him, one major priority will be to ensure that education must be made free and every child must be seen as a child of Nigeria, regardless of his or her tribe or religion.

“First and foremost, the 14.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, I will, first of all, adopt them as my children, so that I will send them back to school, even if I have to sacrifice everything.”

Okorocha also said as president he will use his “Youth Must Work” imitative to see that young people do not remain idle.

He went on to say that his administration will adopt what is termed “Community Government”, a system that would empower traditional rulers to play a vital role in governance.

Redefining ‘democracy’ as – “government of the people, by the people, for the people and with the people,” the Senator stressed that he will give traditional rulers a key role to play because if the nation can get it right at the community level, then the nation will stronger.

Court Orders Interim Seizure Of Okorocha’s Abuja Property

A file photo of former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja today, ordered the interim forfeiture of a property at Plot 1032 & 1033 Cadastral Zone AO3, Takum Close, Off Michika Street, Ahmadu Bello Way, Garki Abuja, belonging to former Imo State governor, Senator Rochas Anayo Okorocha.

According to a statement by the spokesperson to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, the seizure is based on a reasonable suspicion that the property was acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.

Justice Emeka Nwite gave the order while ruling on a motion ex-parte brought by them pursuant to section 44(2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 2006, seeking the forfeiture of the property on the grounds that it was acquired illegally.

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The Commission stated that its investigation had revealed that sometime in 2018, Abtisal Global Ltd and Archivisual Solution Ltd, companies in which Okorocha is believed to have interest, received N222, 000,000 from the Imo State Government Treasury to develop and improve on the said property.

In the ruling, the court directed that the interim forfeiture order be published in the national dailies, alerting anyone with interest in the property to show cause why it should not be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria. Justice Nwite adjourned till April 13, 2022, for consideration of the motion for final forfeiture of the property.

Alleged N2.9bn Fraud: Okorocha’s Absence Stalls Arraignment

A file photo of former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.

 

The Scheduled arraignment of former Imo State governor and Senator representing Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has been stalled.

The former government was on Tuesday supposed to be arraigned at the Federal High Court in Abuja over a N2.9 billion corruption charge.

Senator Okorocha was absent at the court and was not represented by any legal practitioner.

However, six other defendants billed to be arraigned along with him on 17-counts of corruption were present in court.

Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Cosmos Ugwu, told the trial Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo that effecting service on the former Imo State governor has proved abortive.

READ ALSO:  Alleged N5.7bn Fraud: Stop Further Action On Okorocha, Court Orders EFCC

He said that the retinue of security operatives surrounding the Senator had made it impossible for Okorocha to be served in person by court officials.

Other defendants in the charge did not object to the request for adjournment.

Justice Ekwo subsequently fixed March 28 to enable EFCC to serve him with the charge and to take his plea.

According to EFCC, the former Imo governor allegedly conspired with others, including a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and five companies, to steal N2.9 billion public funds.

Others listed as respondents to the suit are Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited.

His co-accused, Nyerere, according to sources, was the APC governorship candidate in Abia State during the 2015 elections and currently serves as a commissioner at the National Pension Commission.

The accused persons were alleged to have stolen the said amount belonging to Imo State and local government areas in the state in contravention of the Money Laundering Act 2011.

The charges claimed that the stolen funds were diverted between October 2014 and February 2016 from the Imo State Government House’s account and Imo State Joint Local Government Project’s account.

Reports also revealed that Nyerere remains the Director of Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited, even as he holds a public office – potentially breaching the nation’s Code of Conduct laws.

The EFCC had on April 2021, arrested the former governor, and interrogated him over issues bothering on alleged corruption before he was admitted to administrative bail.

Alleged N2.9bn Fraud: Call EFCC To Order, Okorocha Urges Buhari

 

The former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to call the EFCC to order, appealing that the president intervenes by stopping the EFCC from constantly harassing and intimidating him over allegations of a N2.9 billion fraud case.

In a chat with State House correspondents after a visit to the president, Senator Okorocha explained that there has been a court judgment and two court orders for different judgments issued at different forums, stopping the EFCC from further interrogating him.

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He however lamented that the orders have gone unheeded by the anti-graft agency.

Okorocha Visits Buhari, Wants South-East Considered For NASS Leadership
A file photo of President Buhari and Okorocha used to illustrate the story.

 

Okorocha described the EFCC’s actions as biased, pre-judgmental, and politically motivated. The former governor called on the president as one who upholds the law to speak out on the matter.

Governor Okorocha equally underscored the need to strengthen the ruling party from the grassroots.

According to him, the president has especially vowed that the days of politicians clinching power from Abuja, without getting requisite support from the masses at the grassroots, will no longer be tolerated at the All Progressives Congress (APC).

‘Imo Govt Has Become An Embarrassment,’ Okorocha Mocks Uzodimma

A photo collage of Rochas Okorocha and Hope Uzodinma

 

Former Governor of Imo State Rochas Okorocha has mocked the State Governor Hope Uzodimma for refusing to name sponsors of insecurity as promised.

Okorocha in a statement titled, ‘The Camp Hope Government In Imo, Has Become An Embarrassment,’ said the governor failed to name the sponsors “after much noise to that effect” before the stakeholders meeting held in the state on Tuesday.

Governor Uzodimma on Tuesday made a U-turn and failed to name the sponsors of attacks in the state contrary to a pledge he made. During the Imo stakeholders meeting at the Government House, Uzodimma acknowledged that he promised to name the sponsors of attacks in Imo but he craved the indulgence of the people that he would no longer name names but would leave security agencies ‘to do their work’ and prosecute those found culpable.

READ ALSO: Uzodimma Makes U-Turn, Fails To Name Sponsors Of Insecurity In Imo

Okorocha in reaction said the Uzodimma’s administration has made Imo State a laughing stock and has become a nightmare to itself.

The former governor, therefore, said he won’t pursue the press statement written earlier by Uzodimma’s Press Secretary which mentioned him and Uche Nwosu as sponsors of insecurity in the state.

 

See the full statement by the former governor below…

 

PRESS RELEASE

SUBJECT:  WHOSE ACCOUNT OR REPORT DO WE BELIEVE?:

THAT OF GOVERNOR HOPE UZODINMA OR THAT OF HIS CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY.

– THE CAMPHOPE GOVERNMENT IN IMO, HAS BECOME AN EMBARRASSMENT.

Governor Hope Uzodinma had ended his much-orchestrated stakeholders meeting on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 (today) and at the end of the day, he failed or refused to name the Sponsors of Insecurity in the State, and after  much noise to that effect, before the meeting.

The governor was quoted to have said that, he would “allow Security agencies to investigate the Culprits and bring them to book”.

However, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Oguwuike Nwachukwu had, before the  stakeholders meeting, named some people in his Press release,  as the Sponsors of Insecurity in the State, including Senator Rochas Okorocha and Ugwumba Uche Nwosu.

The CPS was not conscious of contradicting his principal. And that was what happened.

That is to say, on Monday, January 3, 2022, the governor,  through his Press Secretary had mentioned some names as sponsors of insecurity in the state.

And a day after, precisely,  on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, the same governor said he won’t mention the sponsors of insecurity in Imo again and said,  he “would allow security agencies to investigate the culprits and bring them to book”.

Yet, we won’t fail to ask: Whose report or account do we believe?. Governor Uzodinma’s account or that of his Chief Press Secretary?

The CampHope government has made Imo State a laughing stock. The government has become a nightmare to itself. And an embarrassment to Imo State and her people.

Otherwise, there is no reason a CPS could not have waited for the man who engaged him,  to have his Stakeholders meeting, and then, takes off from there.

For us, since Governor Uzodinma had failed or refused to mention the alleged Sponsors of insecurity in the State, at the Stakeholder’s meeting, we leave it at that.

We won’t begin to pursue what a  CPS wrote, out of fear or curiosity or both.   Sam Onwuemeodo

Special Adviser (Media) to the former Imo State Governor and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District.

Okorocha Out Of Office, Yet Wants To Be Imo Governor – Uzodinma

A photo combination showing Governor Uzodinma and Okorocha.

 

Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State on Tuesday said that Senator Rochas Okorocha wants to remain the governor of the state even after he has left office.

Uzodinma made this assertion during the 2022 Imo Stakeholders meeting which was held at the Government House in Owerri, Imo State capital.

While noting that Okorocha had become a pain in the neck, Mr Uzodinma advised his predecessor to allow him to enjoy his position as governor of Imo State for the duration of his tenure.

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“Traditionally, I’m his elder brother. He should let my administration be and not bring in unnecessary interference.

“We have had previous governors like Achike Udenwa, Ikedi Ohakim, and Emeka Ihedioha but the difference between the former governor Rochas Okorocha and others is that he is out of office but still wants to remain the governor of Imo State,” Governor Uzodinma noted.

Also speaking on some of his achievements in office, Uzodinma disclosed that one of his administration’s greatest achievements was recorded in the education sector.

According to him, the recovery of the K.O. Mbadiwe University for the Imo people was a major milestone.

“As you may well know, the university was built and furnished with taxpayers’ money of not less than N40b. Yet, an individual, abusing his office as governor, brazenly wanted to appropriate it to himself as a privately owned establishment.

“I am glad to report to you that by the second week of December this year, I received a Certificate of Ownership for the university on behalf of the Government and people of Imo State. Today, as we speak, that university is now the rightful property of Imo State.”

In an earlier speech, Governor Uzodinma has said that he will make public the names of those allegedly sponsoring the insecurity ravaging the state.

However, the governor failed to reveal the names on Tuesday but stated that his government has repeatedly maintained that some of the security breaches were politically contrived.

“This was based on intelligence information at our disposal. As the Igbo saying goes, when a child is crying and pointing in a particular direction, it is because either his mother or father is there.

“I assured you that my administration will name those behind insecurity in the state during this stakeholders meeting but for security reasons, we will hold on.

“With the cooperation of the security agencies and the support and assistance of the Federal Government, we have been able to overwhelm the bandits,” the governor asserted.

Uzodinma said he will allow security agents to arrest and prosecute the sponsors of the criminals who have been troubling the peace within Imo State.

While reiterating his earlier advice, the governor asked Okorocha to allow him to rule the state in peace, adding that he will allow security operatives to conclude their investigations and findings will be made public.

Nwosu: We Will Never Support Disrespect For A Place Of Worship – Imo Govt

Mr Uche Nwosu.

 

The Imo State Government has said it is aware of what it terms “futile efforts” by some people to whip up public sentiments against it over the arrest of Mr. Uche Nwosu in an Anglican Church.

In a statement signed by Hon. Declan Emelumba, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, the government said it believes that no stone should be spared in the effort to rid Imo of criminality and banditry.

The government further stated that it will not support any form of disrespect for a place of worship by security agencies.

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The spokesman noted that Mr Nwosu’s arrest within the church premises could have been avoided and therefore stands condemned.

However, while government regrets the manner the arrest was made, Mr Emelumba stressed that since it was purely a security matter, the full reason such an action was taken will eventually unfold and perhaps guide the public better.

The Imo State Government appealed to those negatively affected by the action to bear with the security agencies, adding that Governor Hope Uzodinma holds the Anglican Communion in very high esteem and will never support any act that will disrespect her reverential status as a place of divine worship.

Hon Emelumba also stated that the government will continue to protect the interest of citizens of the state while not impeding the work of security agencies.

UPDATED: Okorocha’s Son-In-Law Uche Nwosu Arrested

File photo: Uche Nwosu

 

Police have arrested a former Imo State gubernatorial candidate, Uche Nwosu. 

Nwosu, a son-in-law to former Governor Rochas Okorocha, was whisked away by the security agencies at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Eziama-Obaire, Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State on Sunday.

The heavily-armed security operatives stormed the church with high-powered security vehicles. They shot sporadically into the air before arresting Nwosu.

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The development created panic in the community as it was the outing service of his late mother who was laid to rest on Wednesday 22nd December 2021.

While police authorities did not immediately confirm the incident, they released a statement later to clarify that Nwosu was arrested and not abducted as feared in some quarters.

“This is to inform the general public that chief Uche Nwosu was not kidnapped but was arrested by the police and Imo state police command is aware of the arrest and presently he is in police custody,” a statement from the spokesman of the command, Michael Abattam, added.

Okorocha Has Gone Home From EFCC Office, Says Media Aide

Ex-Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha

 

Senator Rochas Okorocha has left the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and is now in his own house. 

This is according to Sam Onwuemeodo, the special adviser on media, to the former Imo State Governor.

According to Onwuemeodo’ss communique, the Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District left the EFCC’s office, on the afternoon of Thursday, April 15, 2021.

In reaction to Okorocha’s trip to the EFCC office, the lawmaker’s team had assured that the former Imo State Governor would fully cooperate with the agents of the agency since it was operating within the ambit of the law establishing it.


EFCC Invites Okorocha For Questioning

EFCC Invited Okorocha For Clarification – Spokesman


Okorocha’s aide’s statement on the matter notes that the distinguished Senator lived up to that vow.

“We didn’t bother about whether he spent 24 hours or 48 hours at the Commission’s office. We were only keen on his having the needed opportunity to address the allegations contained in the avalanche of petitions written by the Imo State Government, against the former governor.

“Remember also that, we had alluded that, EFCC was not a slaughterhouse, but a responsible institution, established for the good of the nation and her people. And Okorocha being in his house today, only confirmed our hypothesis that, indeed, the Commission’s office is not an abattoir,” the communique stated.

Imo Govt Revokes 50 Plots Of Land Allegedly Belonging To Okorocha’s Sister

Ex-Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha

 

 

The Imo State government through the Imo state housing corporation has revoked 50 plots of land allegedly belonging to the former governor, Rochas Okorocha’s elder Geraldine Obinali.

According to a statement issued by the General Manager of the Imo State Housing Corporation Chinedu Mbakwe-Obi, the said plots of land located at redemption housing estate Phase 3 in Owerri was issued to her under the Okorocha led administration for the sole purpose of providing infrastructural facilities in the estates but was never carried out.

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Sequel to all legal actions taken to notify Jessdean Ventures Ltd. of No. 3 Okeoma Close, Trans-Egbu Layout, Owerri owned by Geraldine Obinali(Nee Okorocha), We hereby revoke the following plot numbers in Redemption Housing Estate Phase III issued to her for the sole purpose of providing infrastructural facilities in the Estates which was never carried out.

The Corporation, however, calls on the General Public especially indigenes of the state that is if anybody has transacted business in related to the land in question to immediately come to the Imo State Housing Corporation with original papers for ratifications.