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… As Okorocha links raids to PDP, Ihedioha
Barely one week after the umbrella body of all Imo State Town Unions and professionals presented a protest letter to Governor Emeka Ihedioha containing lists of public properties allegedly cornered by former Governor Rochas Okorocha and households, agents of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has struck, sealing some of the listed properties in Owerri.
Affected investments included the Rochas Foundation College in Owerri, Reach FM, Royal Spring Palm Hotel and All-in-One Shopping Mall among others.
EFCC also sealed the East High College and Academy, Owerri, owned by Okorocha’s daughter and wife of the Action Alliance (AA) governorship candidate in the state, Uloma Nwosu.
The media aide to the former governor, one Sam Onwuemeodo, in a press statement, quoted Senator Okorocha as claiming that “What is obvious is that the PDP 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 and APC members. And that was why they needed INEC to declare their candidate winner even when he didn’t meet the requirement.
Okorocha further said that “Unfortunately, they have instigated certain agencies like EFCC into taking some hasty actions following a flood of petitions by them.”
Onwuemeodo further claimed that “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 such action.
However, in a swift reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ihedioha, Mr Chibuike Onyeukwu, in a response to Business Hilights enquiries made it clear that “Imo State Government has no hands in the sealing of properties belonging to former Governor and his family by the EFCC”
He said “Our attention has been drawn to the press release by former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, on the sealing by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of various properties belonging to his family, which, according to him, include; Rochas Foundation College and the East High College and Academy, both in Owerri, among other investments.
Oyneukwu recalled that “In the said release, the former governor had accused His Excellency, Governor Emeka Ihedioha CON, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of conniving with the Commission to witch-hunt him and his family.
Continuing, he argued that “Ordinarily we would not have dignified such a statement with a response, but to guard against his recourse to deliberate lies and misrepresentation of facts, we are obliged to make this rejoinder to dissociate His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON and his government of any complicity in the operations of the anti-graft agency.
“For emphasis, this administration is founded on the respect for rule of law and due process and therefore would not stealthily petition or engage in a clandestine war against ex governor and family. It would be recalled that Governor Ihedioha has since set up committees that are looking into the various actions undertaken by the past.
Imo State Government further averred that “It is also necessary to remind that the EFCC had, before the inauguration of this administration, begun a probe of the former governor over issues of misappropriation of the state’s funds, including; Bailout funds, Paris Club Refund, Local Government Fund and other financial crimes. It is also on record that the Commission had made public the freezing of a bank account, with a balance of over N5 billion, operated by the past administration as a result of fraudulent activities. Could Governor Ihedioha have influenced this action?
The state government further advised ex-governor Okorocha and members of his family, that “rather than engage in attempts to divert attention from this probe by EFCC, to dutifully assist the Commission in their investigations, with a view to clearing themselves of the weighty allegations of malfeasance and misappropriations levelled against them by the anti-graft agency and leave the state government out of their travails.”
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