Magu: EFCC Is Investigating Okorocha, Others

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed that it is investigating Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and some other Nigerians.

Acting chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr Ibrahim Magu, affirmed this during an exclusive interview with Channels Television in London.

Asked if an investigation is ongoing regarding the governor, he responded, “definitely”.

“Of course, we are doing a couple of checks and investigations here and there. We are investigating almost everybody,” the EFCC boss added.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s GDP Records Slow Growth In 2019 First Quarter

He noted that the commission has to get to a certain level before it can disclose any information about an ongoing investigation.

EFCC Is Investigating Okorocha, Says Magu

 

Mr Magu explained that this was necessary to prevent any action that can jeopardise or interfere with the process of the inquiry.

According to him, Governor Okorocha is one of the many people being investigated by the commission.

The EFCC boss said although he was aware of reports of the investigation on the social media, the details the anti-graft agency has was different from what was in the public space.

He, however, declined to disclose it.

On the EFCC’s probe of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, he said there was nothing personal.

Magu is in the United Kingdom to meet with investigators assisting the Nigerian government in solving cases of money laundering and financial crimes.

Recently, Governor Okorocha gave an indication that he was under the spotlight of the EFCC, saying he is the most investigated governor in the country.

We Have Built The Second Best Police Headquarters In Nigeria – Okorocha

The newly constructed Police Headquarters in Owerri, the Imo State capital awaiting commissioning on May 16, 2019.

 

Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State, says his administration has built the second best police headquarters in the country.

He revealed this in Owerri on Thursday while inaugurating projects built by the state government in the last eight years.

Addressing the gathering he said: “Do you know we have built the best police headquarters in Imo State? How many of you have seen it?

“This is the police headquarters. After Abuja, we have the best. This one, I am not qualified to commission this one. This one will be qualified by the Vice President; he is coming here tomorrow. This one pass my power,” he stated.

Besides the police headquarters, the Okorocha’s administration also constructed a Prison facility facing the Government House in Owerri, the state capital.

READ ALSO: Okorocha Inaugurates Over 100 Projects Days To End Of Tenure

The governor explained he was moved to tears to build the structure over what he described as ‘worst inhumanity to mankind’ arising from the dilapidated structures he saw earlier.

“This one is the Nigerian Prisons Headquarters. You know where they are staying opposite the Government House, we have 89 people in one room.

“They sleep turn by turn. After this one sleeps for 2 minutes, another one will stand him up and sleep. I saw that and I wept. I said this is the worst inhumanity to mankind. I decided to build a new prison headquarters. It is 3,200 beds each,” he said.

Stressing further, Okorocha said the state government also embarked on a federal project by building a liaison office for the Nigerian Navy in Owerri.

The visibly happy Okorocha moved on by commissioning a MOPOL 64 Base headquarters in Ideato area of the state to boost security to the amusement of his guests.

Other projects commissioned are: Imo State Fire Service Headquarters, Night Live and Tourism, Imo Security Network, Imo Community Watch, Imo Civil Guards, Imo Niger Delta Security, 100 Sienna security patrol vehicles, 700 security patrol motorcycles, 211 Regiment Group for the Nigerian Air Force among others.

Okorocha Inaugurates Over 100 Projects Days To End Of Tenure

Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha speaks during the commissioning of some projects in Owerri on May 16, 2019.

 

Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, on Thursday commissioned over 100 projects in the state 13 days to handing over power to his successor.

The governor commissioned the projects during a Thanksgiving programme held in Owerri, the state capital. He said the projects being inaugurated has proven his critics wrong.

Some of the schools constructed and inaugurated include Owerri City Secondary school, Owerri Girls College, Young Scientist College, Ikenegbu Girls Secondary School, Akwakuma Girls Secondary School, Emmanuel College, Government College Owerri, Amakohia Comprehensive Secondary School, among others.

READ ALSO: Imo Assembly Deputy Speaker Resigns After Speaker

Okorocha explained that the newly built schools will give Orlu a facelift. He added that he decided building schools because he did his campaign there.

Some of the projects built by his administration include Umunna Primary school, Orlu. “We have schools like this more than 546 of these schools scattered all over. 305-storey building schools.”

Okorocha stated included: Central School Ubomiri, Okigwe State Primary School, Central School Amaokpara among others.

Commissioning them the governor said: “Since I don’t have time, the 305 schools are hereby commissioned.”

On tertiary institutions, some of them built by the Okorocha administration included: Imo State College of Advanced Professional, Imo State University Owerri, Eastern Palm University Ogboko, University of Creative Technology Nkwerre, University of Medical College Ogboko, University of Engineering Onuimo, University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Abor/Okpala.

Other institutions listed are Imo State Polytechnic Ahiara, Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo, Imo State Polytechnic Arondizuogu, Imo State College of Education Ihite Uboma, Imo State E-Library, among others.

Okorocha Respects APC, He Has Not Left The Party – Governor Bagudu

Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu

 

Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, says his Imo State counterpart, Rochas Okorocha, respects the All Progressives Congress (APC) and as such has not left the party.

While appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Bagudu stated that though Okorocha may have been aggrieved with his travails in the party, still he remains a member of APC.

“Chief Rochas Okorocha has enormous regards to President Muhammadu Buhari. He respects his party to the extent that he has not left his party and he still believes in his party.

“He was not happy maybe about some things that have happened to him or he perceived has happened to him and I think he has been very careful to draw the distinction,” he stated.

Bagudu’s comments followed Okorocha’s claim that accused the party’s leadership of witch-hunting him, stressing that the evil he feared in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has befallen him ten times in the APC.

READ ALSO: The Evil I Feared In PDP Has Befallen Me 10 Times In APC – Okorocha

“That the party that I formed will treat me in this manner is rather unfortunate. The evil I feared in the PDP has befallen me 10 times in the APC. I hate injustice,” he said.

Bagudu explained that despite Okorocha’s anger with the party, he still leads the Progressives Governor’s Forum.

When asked if the APC plans to nominate another governor to chair the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Bagudu replied in the affirmative.

This is because the tenure of the current NGF Chairman and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, would expire on May 29.

Speaking on the security challenges the nation faces, the governor stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is committed to addressing the issue decisively for the good of the citizens.

Imo West Election: INEC Has No Power To Withhold My Certificate Of Return – Okorocha

 

The Imo state Governor Rochas Okorocha has said that the Independent National electoral commission (INEC) has no power to withhold his certificate of return for Imo West Senatorial District after declaring the result.

Okorocha who expressed his grievances again at a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday, asked the electoral body to issue the certificate before the June 2019 Inauguration of the Ninth Assembly, because it lacked the constitutional powers to withhold it.

“What is important is, INEC doesn’t have the power to withhold the certificate of return having declared the result because both the certificate of return and the declaration is just one subject matter; just that the other one is a ceremony because results have been declared.

“Last week I wrote a letter to INEC officially for the first time myself, informing them about their wrongdoings and illegal actions taken to withhold my certificate on a mere allegation of duress, which was never founded, neither was there any committee set up to investigate the matter.

“INEC on their own, believe the report by their returning officer without investigating the authenticity of such allegation. So there was no issue of fair hearing at all to have asked me whether I actually committed the offence that their person alleged.”

READ ALSO: Election Petition Tribunal: PDP Demands Fairness From Justice Bulkachuwa

The Governor who hopes to become the Senator representing the people of Imo West Senatorial District urged INEC to act beyond the allegation of duress and try to investigate the matter.

Okorocha Proposes End To Igbo Traditional Institutions Outside South-East

 

Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha has suggested an end to the Igbo tribe setting up traditional institutions outside the South-East with the aim of promoting and not interfering with the cultures of their host communities.

He said this at a summit organised by the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria in Imo state.

According to Okorocha, the aim of promoting peace and unity is important because people need to understand that traditional rulers of the host communities are ready and willing to help.

“An Igbo man will leave his home and go to Lagos and acquire properties, sometimes try to put in their culture and this is very offensive to other tribes and cultural groups.

“An interference with their culture also makes them angry. This is why I think that the issue of having a traditional institution in other parts of this country should stop henceforth to allow the culture of the people in those areas to prevail. If you allow these traditional rulers the opportunity, they will support you more than their own.”

READ ALSO: ‘I Can’t Go Back To My Village’, Northern Lawmakers Decry Security Situation

Meanwhile, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, who spoke at the summit, urged other traditional rulers to ‘walk the talk’ and play their roles in maintaining peace in the country.

“We shouldn’t just talk the talk, we should walk that talk; our role as traditional rulers is very pivotal.

“We know the good, bad and the ugly in our various kingdoms, we know everything. It is because the government has not been very supportive.”

He further said that the government is ready to listen and cooperate with the rulers because they know the level of importance the rulers play in peace-keeping.

“This time around, we have a government that really wants to listen to us and we pray someday, we will have a pride of place to sit down together,

“They are doing government on our behalf; we all know that because anytime they want to assign and attain a particular position in politics, they visit our various palaces for royal blessings. If they don’t have any recognition with us, they would not come to our various palaces.”

Okorocha Sets Up 21-Member Transition Committee

Okorocha Sets Up 21-Member Transition Committee

 

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has set up a 21-member committee ahead of the transition of government in May.

The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Sam Onwuemeodo, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

He explained that the committee would interface with the committee set up by the Governor-elect, Emeka Ihedioha, to ensure a hitch-free transition.

The committee, which is chaired by Mr Mark Uchendu, has as members Adaora Ijezie, Emma Iwuanyanwu, Simeon Iwunze, Nkeiru Oluehi, Angela Uwakwem, and Ugochi Okoro.

Also in the committee are Iyke Njoku, Chinyere Uwandu, Ngozi Nwamerenini, Professor Edna Njoku, Chika Ezeji, Professor Nnamdi Obiareri, and Ethelbert Ibebuchi.

Other members include Kenneth Emelu, Jones Uzoka, Lasbery Okafor-Anyanwu, Pastor Henrienta Jacobs, Ikenna Emeh, Nelson Ezerioha, and the ‘Principal Secretary’.

In the activities lined up towards having a smooth transition, Governor Okorocha is expected to meet with the governor-elect on May 2.

The inauguration of the joint committee and tour of Government House are also scheduled to take place on Thursday next week.

Okorocha and Ihedioha will, thereafter, meet with various stakeholders such as the traditional rulers and labour leaders, as well as embark on a tour of selected projects in the state.

Okorocha Visits Buhari, Wants South-East Considered For NASS Leadership

Okorocha Visits Buhari, Wants South-East Considered For NASS Leadership

 

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, on Monday visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Shortly after meeting with the President, Governor Okorocha briefed State House correspondents on what he discussed with President Buhari during the meeting.

He said he requested that the top leadership of the ninth National Assembly be zoned to the South-East region of the country.

The governor explained that the people of the South-East were important and should be treated as such.

He informed reporters that he was at the Aso Villa to invite the President to Imo to inaugurate some projects before the end of his tenure in the state.

READ ALSOAgain, INEC Insists No Certificate Of Return For Okorocha

Governor Okorocha also reacted to the outcome of the March 9 governorship election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Imo State.

He faulted the victory of the Governor-elect, Mr Emeka Ihedioha, who contested the poll on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), insisting that he did not win the election.

 

On the status of his senatorial ambition, Okorocha was confident that INEC would issue him his certificate of return.

The governor visited the President five weeks after INEC conducted the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Although he was declared the winner of the Imo West senatorial district election, the electoral body had insisted that it would not present Okorocha with a certificate of return.

INEC explained that it took the decision after the returning officer for the poll said he declared Governor Okorocha as the winner “under duress”.

In his reaction, the governor faulted INEC for its decision and said it had no justification to withhold his certificate when others have gotten theirs.

He said he won the election fairly and that his victory was not declared under duress.

Governor Okorocha had, thereafter, asked a Federal High Court Abuja to compel the electoral body to issue him his certificate as the senator-elect for Imo West senatorial district.

Although INEC has yet to issue him the certificate, it said it would await the verdict of the court to know what step to take next.

‘INEC Has No Justification For Withholding My Certificate Of Return’ – Okorocha

 

 

The Imo state Governor Rochas Okorocha has asked the Independent National electoral commission (INEC) to urgently present him his certificate of return as the Senator-Elect for the Imo West Senatorial district election.

Addressing newsmen at the government house in Owerri the Imo state capital, The Governor says INEC does not have any moral or constitutional justification for withholding his certificate of return by acting on a mere allegation by the returning officer Professor Innocent Ibeabuchi who might be playing a script by his political enemies.

“I cannot understand how a mere allegation of somebody, an individual, talking about duress, which has not been proven by anybody, will stop INEC from giving me my certificate of return for an election that I won properly.

READ ALSO: Court To Hear AAC’s Suit On Rivers Election March 28

“I cannot understand why an individual’s report of a professor who lied, will now be taken more than the report by the Nigeria Police, State Security Service, that said there was no crisis, everything was peaceful. The returning officer should be called to order.”

He urged INEC to release his Certificate of return so the issue will not cause any constitutional and political problem for the country in future.

“INEC has no moral justification to release certificate of return to someone who, knowingly, flouted the Nigerian constitution and refusing to give someone his certificate, who won duly.”

The electoral body had insisted that it will not issue a certificate of return to Okorocha, who was declared the winner of the election by the returning officer Professor Innocent Ibeabuchi, after alleging that he announced the result out of duress.

Okorocha has, however, taken the matter to court.

 

 

Again, INEC Insists No Certificate Of Return For Okorocha

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that there is no going back on its decision regarding the Imo West senatorial district election.

The National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye, disclosed this to reporters at a briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

He noted that the commission was aware that the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who was declared as the winner of the election had gone to court because he was not presented with his certificate of return.

Okoye stressed that although the commission has always obeyed court orders, it would not issue a certificate of return to the governor.

He, however, said since the governor had taken the matter to court, INEC would await the verdict of the court to know what step to take next.


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Governor Okorocha had asked the Federal High Court Abuja to compel the electoral body to issue him his certificate as the senator-elect for Imo West senatorial district.

In a suit, the governor argued that INEC lacked the statutory powers to withhold his certificate of return, stressing that he was validly elected to represent the Imo West senatorial district in the National Assembly.

He had also prayed the court to declare that the electoral body acted in error when it refused to recognise him as the winner of the election, despite the declaration by the returning officer.

On its part, INEC had insisted that it would not issue the certificate because the returning officer said he declared Governor Okorocha as the winner “under duress”.

Although the governor insisted that he won the election fairly and that his victory was not declared under duress, his name was not on the list of those to be given a certificate of return.

Despite his protests against the decision of the electoral body, he wasn’t given a certificate when winners got theirs last week.

No Certificate Of Return For Okorocha, INEC Insists

No Certificate Of Return For Okorocha, INEC Insists
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha (file)

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that it would not present a certificate of return to Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.

INEC’s National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye, said this during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday.

He explained that the electoral body took the decision because of the returning officer for Imo West senatorial district election that he declared Governor Okorocha as the winner “under duress”.

While declaring the results, the returning officer had said he was doing so under duress.

Although the governor insisted he won the elections fairly and that his victory was not declared under duress, his name was not on the list of those to be given a certificate of return and despite his protests against the decision, he wasn’t given a certificate when winners got theirs last week.


RELATED
INEC Releases Names Of Senators-Elect, Okorocha Omitted
Certificate: INEC Wants To Organise A Special Programme For Me, Says Okorocha


Asked whether the commission investigated the claim and confirmed that it was true, Okoye said “Yes”.

He added, “We’ve made it clear on why we didn’t present any certificate of return to him (Okorocha).

“If you look at our website, we said that the declaration and return were made under duress and that we are not going to give any certificate to any person for any individual that procured a return under duress.”

 

Following the incident in Imo, INEC had warned politicians, especially those seeking to be elected into public offices that it would not condone any form of electoral malpractice.

The chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who addressed a press conference on March 7, said the electoral umpire would not reward “bad behaviour” by presenting a certificate of return to anyone harassing any of their staff.

On Thursday last week, INEC presented certificates of return to those returned elected in the February 23 elections.

In his reaction, Governor Okorocha criticised the commission for withholding his certificate of return when he briefed reporters elsewhere while the presentation ceremony held at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.

The governor, who insisted that the election was one of the best conducted in the state, said INEC was planning a special event to present him with his certificate.

See some of the document presented by Governor Okorocha during the briefing below:

Certificate: INEC Wants To Organise A Special Programme For Me, Says Okorocha

 

The Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, appears not disturbed by the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to issue him his certificate of return.

The governor who addressed a news conference on Thursday in Abuja said he believed the electoral body was planning something special to present him with his certificate.

“Maybe INEC wants to organise a special programme for me to hand over the certificate to me but clearly, I’ve won and it was a peaceful election,” he said.

READ ALSOWithholding My Certificate Of Return Can Cause Tension In Imo – Okorocha

INEC had on Tuesday released a list of members of the ninth National Assembly members elected during the February 23 elections.

The electoral body had announced that it would present certificates of return to them on Thursday, but exempted Governor Okorocha’s name, alleging that the returning officer was made to declare him winner of the election “under duress”.

 

But Okorocha insisted that the claim by the returning officer was only a ploy to cripple his political career.

While the event was taking place at the International Conference Centre in the nation’s capital, the governor told reporters elsewhere in the city that he was duly elected to represent Imo West Senatorial District.

A document presented by Governor Okorocha during a press conference in Abuja on March 14, 2019.

 

He noted that INEC had yet to offer any explanation as to why his name was missing from the list of senators-elect who were presented with their certificates of return on Thursday.“INEC has removed my name from the list of senators, having been declared the winner. I am in darkness as to what is the reason why I am not invited to collect my certificate of return,” he said.

The governor further criticised the electoral umpire for declaring the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emeka Ihedioha, as the winner of the governorship election in Imo State.

He claimed that the governor-elect failed to secure 25 per cent of votes in two-thirds of the local government areas (LGAs) of the state, and demand that Ihedioha’s victory be upturned, saying he won in only nine out of the 27 LGAs in the state.

Another document presented by Governor Okorocha during a press conference in Abuja on March 14, 2019.