Onyedi Gabriel, Port Harcourt
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has told a former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, to prepaer for his day in court.
The commission’s Port Harcourt Zonal Head, Usman Imam, who spoke on Thursday, said Okorocha, a senator representing Imo West, would be arraigned immediately after investigations.
He, however, said that N7.9billion belonging to Imo was seized from the former governor during EFCC investigations.
Imam said out of the money, the commission returned over N5.7bn to various administrations in Imo to pay salaries and pension of workers.
He said, “I started the Imo State case in Enugu and upon my deployment to this zone, the investigations of corruption allegations against the former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, was transferred from the Enugu zone to Port Harcourt for further investigations.
“Within the period, the commission succeeded in freezing about N7.9bn in different accounts. All the monies that were released to Imo State government were from the N7.9bn recovered from Okorocha. The monies were released in batches.
“N2.7bn was released in March for salaries. In the PDP government of Emeka Ihedioha, excess of N2.5bn upon series of writings and our insistence of monitoring it, was released to pay salaries and pensions because they were monies recovered from the state so it has to go back to the state.
“Then the government of Emeka left and this government came, we had a remnant of the money in excess of N2bn. We were able to release N514milion just last month because excess of about N1.8bn is encumbered with a court process. Contractors went to court and targeted the funds. The process is lingering. They still have excess of N1.8bn that is not released”.
The EFCC zonal boss said the senator’s assets were also identified in Imo, Abuja and confiscated by the commission.
He said the commission filed a court process for the interim forfeiture of the assets confiscated from Okorocha.
He said, “The investigation has got to an advanced stage and we are expecting that on conclusion, we are going to arraign the former governor.
“It is in the course of investigations that we targeted his assets. Some are in Imo, Owerri and some are in Abuja. We marked these properties in Abuja and we have filed court processes for interim forfeiture of these assets. The target is to conclude the investigations and he will have his day in court.”