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EFCC quizzes Imo ex-gov, Okorocha in Abuja

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Former Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested the immediate past governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.

The Guardian learnt that the anti-graft agency arrested Okorocha, yesterday, evening in his Abuja residence for failure to honour an invitation extended to him by the commission.

It was further gathered that Okorocha’s invitation by the EFCC was informed by series of petitions received by the commission against him.

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It would be recalled that a group, under the auspices of Coalition for the Advancement of Good Governance (CAGG), had urged EFCC to expedite action on its investigation of alleged pillaging of Imo State under the administration of Okorocha as governor.

The group urged the anti-graft agency to go beyond sealing properties to arraigning all those involved in plundering the state’s resources during the administration.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, head of the coalition, James Okoronkwo, also urged the government of Imo not to relent in repositioning the state and recovering all stolen properties from officials and families of past leaders.

The EFCC’s zonal head in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Usman Imam, had also hinted that the commission was perfecting plans to arraign the former governor for alleged embezzlement of public funds.

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Imam, who gave the hint while briefing journalist in Port Harcourt, added that he began investigation of the Imo senator while then at the Enugu zonal office of the commission.

He stated that upon conclusion of the inquiry, the ex-governor would be prosecuted. Imam said the agency’s former acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, saw the need to continue with the case despite his (Imam) redeployment, hence the case was transferred to his current base for thorough finishing.

He disclosed that the EFCC had refunded N6.1 billion to the state government from the N7.9 billion it recovered from the different bank accounts and assets belonging to Okorocha.

According to Imam, funds were released in batches to Okorocha (N2.7billion to pay staff salaries and pensions), Emeka Ihedioha (over N2.5 billion) and the Hope Uzodinma administration (N514 million), while N1.8 billion is yet to be released on account of a court process initiated by some contractors.

Wilson Uwujaren, the commission’s spokesman who confirmed the arrest, did not give details.

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EFCCRochas Okorocha
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