On Wednesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) sealed some school and businesses belonging to the family of the Ex-Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State who is currently a Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District in the Senate.
The EFCC confirmed that the Rochas Foundation College and the East High Primary and Secondary School, both in Owerri, were sealed because the properties were under investigation.
The East High School belongs to the Ex-Governor’s daughter, Uloma Nwosu, who is the wife of the Ex-Secretary to the State Government, Uche Nwosu.
Rochas’s predicament (as he calls it) started when he decided to support his son-in-law, Nwosu, to emerge as the Governor of Imo State in the March 2019 election following his (Nwosu) inability to secure the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket.
Naija Buzz News had in May reported how Okorocha accused his party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, of conniving with other leaders of the APC to instigate the EFCC against him.
Rochas who is a chieftain of the APC rejected his party’s governorship candidate, Hope Uzodinma, and supported his son-in-law who was the candidate of another party.
The EFCC also sealed Okorocha’s All-in Supermarket in Owerri. The supermarket allegedly belongs to a member of the Okorocha’s family.
Following the development, Senator Okorocha in his reaction accused the current Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, of conniving with the anti-graft to seal his businesses (an allegation the Imo Governor had vehemently denied, saying that he was only focused in the rebuilding of the state and not part of any alleged witch-hunt against Okorocha).
He noted that for instance the Rochas Foundation College had been in existence even before he joined politics. According to him, most of the students in the school were orphans who enjoyed free education.
Okorocha’s statement issued by his aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, as obtained by Naija Buzz News reads below in parts;
“What is obvious is that the Peoples Democratic Party-led government in the state with Chief Emeka Ihedioha as governor and all the PDP chieftains who felt politically displaced from 2011 to 2019 by Rochas Okorocha had come together to launch war against Rochas and his family.
“That was why they needed INEC to declare their candidate winner even when he did not meet the requirements. Unfortunately, they have instigated certain agencies like the EFCC into taking some hasty actions following flood of petitions by them.
“Our concern about the action of the EFCC is the approach. There was no prior invitation to the managements or proprietors of the colleges and other establishments sealed by the commission as expected before taken such action.
“To the best of our knowledge too, these colleges have not been under the investigation of the commission. We have had the feeling that the sealing of the colleges or any other structure as the case maybe, would have been based on the outcome of their investigations in which the managements or the proprietors would have also been interrogated.
“Sealing the colleges and other property because they belong to the Rochas Okorocha family before investigation is what is difficult for us to comprehend especially when most of these establishments had preceded the governorship of Rochas Okorocha.”
“The Rochas Foundation Colleges have existed in Imo and in many states of the federation including Plateau, Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, Oyo, Bauchi and so on, years before Okorocha’s governorship. And the EFCC may also go to those states outside Imo to seal the rest of the colleges.”
“What is happening in Imo at the moment is not governance. It is a total war against Rochas and his family, the APC members, members of other parties and opponents. They say they want to make the state uncomfortable for opponents and they are doing it with recklessness.
“It should also not be forgotten that there is a subsisting court order to this effect and we believe that the commission’s office in Enugu is aware of the court order in question as it concerns the commission and Okorocha’s investments. The EFCC is a highly responsible institution and our appeal is that it should not be incited against Okorocha and his family and should equally take cognisance of the court order in question.
“Senator Rochas Okorocha and family believe strongly in the state and have relocated most of their businesses to Owerri unlike these PDP bigwigs who do not love the state, with all of them having nothing to show that they have a stake in the state.”
David Chima is the Group Head (Editors) at Naija Buzz News. He is a very experienced Journalist. He studied Mass Communication at the Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic Zaria, Kaduna State, before proceeding for Advanced Studies in Mass Communication (Journalism) at the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Bauchi State. He previously served as the Head Senior Reporters and Publishers at 1Push.Ng and eventually Naija Buzz News. Chima is a lover of football and a very strong supporter of Barcelona Football Club Spain.
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