Okorocha to be arraigned soon, says EFCC
Refunds Imo N6b, recovers N980b, seizes Air Force ex-chief’s assets
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is to arraign former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, soon for alleged embezzlement of public funds.
The Zonal Head of the Port Harcourt office of the anti-graft body, Usman Imam, dropped the hint yesterday in Port Harcourt, adding that he began investigation of the sitting 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 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 finish.
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 allegedly belonging to Okorocha.
Imam pointed out that the funds were released in batches to the Okorocha (N2.7billion to pay staff salaries and pensions), Emeka Ihedioha (over N2.5 billion) and the Hope Uzodinma (N514 million) administrations, while N1.8 billion is yet to be released on account of a court process initiated by some contractors.
Besides, Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday ordered the interim forfeiture of $228,428.16 and N120, 546,042.02 as well as a property located at Plot No. 3004 Cadastral Zone E05, Aviation Village in the Federal Capital Territorty (FCT) recovered from Air Vice Marshal Salu Atawodi (rtd), Atawodi Winnie and Vector Integrated Services Limited by the EFCC.
A statement by its spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, said the order followed an ex parte application filed by the anti-graft agency pursuant to Section 44 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The judge subsequently adjourned to June 30,2020 for the continuation of the case. Also yesterday, the EFCC boss, Magu, said the agency recovered assets in excess of N980 billion between 2015 and 2020. He spoke in Abuja at an event to mark this year’s Democracy Day, adding that 2,240 convictions were secured during the period under review.
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