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Okorocha reacts to EFCC claim N7.9bn was recovered from him

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The former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha has reacted to the claim that N7.9 billion was recovered from him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Head of the Port Harcourt zone of the EFCC, Mr. Usman Imam, was quoted saying at a press conference on Thursday that the commission recovered N7.9 billion from the former governor, who is currently a senator.

He said N2.7 billion of the money had already been returned to the Imo State government for payment of workers’ salaries and pension.

But responding in a statement on Friday in Owerri, Okorocha denied the claim, saying that the anti-graft agency or anybody else never recovered N7.9 billion or any other amount of money from him.

The statement through his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo reads: “The EFCC as a commission or Mr Usman Imam as a person and Head of Enugu zone then, and today, that of Port Harcourt Zone, of the commission, never recovered N7.9 billion or any other amount of money, from Rochas Okorocha

“With this denial, we therefore challenge EFCC or Mr. Imam as the one who made the claim, to prove us wrong by publishing details of the Bank Accounts the money was found and the owners of the accounts.

“We hold the EFCC and its personnel in a very high esteem. And we expect the commission or Mr. Imam to take our denial very serious, because Nigerians of goodwill would like to know who is saying the truth or who is lying.

“Where the commission finds out that it had misinformed the public and had also blackmailed the former Imo governor, perhaps unconsciously, we expect the commission or Mr. Imam to do the needful, which is to retract the media statement and then tell Nigerians the correct story. The N7.9 billion in question must be in bank Accounts. Let the EFCC publish the Accounts’ Details without delay.

“Mr Imam talked about properties owned by Okorocha which the commission had marked. It is also important that Mr. Imam publish those properties because the properties marked had been acquired by Okorocha about twenty years ago. Since Mr. Imam has begun media trial, let the properties be also published for Nigerians to know the truth.

“We have repeatedly told this story, that before the 2019 election, the PDP elements in Imo had written to the EFCC, alleging that Okorocha had planned to use all the state funds to finance the election of his choice candidates. The EFCC, leveraging on the petitions, seized all the accounts of the state including the ones meant for the payment of salaries, pensions, severance allowances and so on. We have made this particular claim severally and the EFCC or any other interested person or persons have never faulted our claim.

Read also: EFCC hints at prosecuting Okorocha, says it has returned N2.7bn of N7.9bn recovered from ex-gov

“It has also been on the basis of these petitions written by the PDP government then led by Chief Emeka Ihedioha against Okorocha and the family, that the EFCC has been on the neck of Okorocha.

“Even after that Government had petitioned the commission and the commission acting on the petitions, the government also instituted more than twelve commissions and panels to probe Okorocha and family, on the same issues or items the EFCC is investigating.

“Some of the panels have submitted their reports to the current government in the state led by Governor Hope Uzodinma while others are still sitting and equally conducting media trials on Okorocha.

“Obviously, the EFCC has been misinformed. And the commission is using such misinformation to carry out media trial on Okorocha and in some cases, has even convicted him before the trial which Mr. Imam had talked about.

“We want to reiterate that EFCC has not recovered any money from Okorocha including the N7.9 billion claimed by Mr. Imam. And it is left for EFCC to prove us wrong. And if the commission discovers that our claim is the correct story, Mr. Imam should retract the media statement and tell the world the correct story”, Okorocha stated.

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