…it’s nothing new, says Governor
The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has confirmed the anti-graft agency is investigating Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.
Magu disclosed this in an interview with a Lagos-based television station in the United Kingdom, yesterday.
Magu granted the interview in the UK, where he went to meet with investigators assisting the Federal Government in solving cases of money laundering and financial crimes.
Asked if an investigation of the governor is ongoing, Magu replied: “Definitely.
“Of course, we are doing a couple of checks and investigations here and there. We are investigating almost everybody.”
He also said the Commission has to get to a certain level before it can disclose any information about an ongoing investigation and explained that this was necessary to prevent any action that can jeopardise or interfere with the process of the inquiry.
In his reaction, the governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo dismissed Magu’s comments.
“We cannot comment again over (on) an issue which has already been reported by the same medium, last week.
“So, there is nothing new about the investigation,” Onwuemeodo told Daily Sun.
Meanwhile, Okorocha is currently in court with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), over the certificate of return of Imo West senatorial district.
He was declared winner of the election but INEC withdrew the certificate, saying the Returning Officer was forced to announce Okorocha as winner.
The governor contested the election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The immunity Okorocha enjoys will end on May 29.
Last Friday, EFCC’s Zonal Head for South-East, Usman Imam, told journalists in Enugu State that the anti-graft agency has frozen N5 billion funds belonging to the Imo state Government because Okorocha spent too much money, in a suspicious manner, during the general election.
The EFCC further stated that N8 billion Paris Club debt refunded to the state, for the payment of salaries, was mismanaged by Okorocha. Imam said but for the timely intervention, over N5 billion would have allegedly been deployed in vote-buying by Okorocha’s administration.
He said: “About N7.9 billion is what had been blocked, although with pressure, subsequently, about N2.5 billion was released for salaries.
“On the whole, we have over N5 billion of those funds blocked; we are following up to see what actually happened.
“Honestly, what we discovered was that within two days, N700 million was withdrawn in cash; N200 million on the first day and N500 million on the second day and, all these monies were disbursed in a manner that was honestly unpalatable…”