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Okorocha’s arrest by EFCC handiwork of sworn enemies afraid of his rising profile —Media aide

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The Special Adviser on Media to the embattled former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Sam Onwuemeodo, has described the arrest of his principal as the handiwork of his enemies who are bent on stopping his 2023 presidential ambition.

Reacting to the long siege by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the Maitama, Abuja residence of the Senator representing Imo West senatorial district at the National Assembly leading to his arrest on Tuesday, Onwuemeodo, in a statement on Wednesday, concluded that the action of the anti-graft agency presupposes that “those who had sworn to frustrate Okorocha’s presidential ambition or pursuit, have not relented.”

The statement entitled ‘The invasion and forceful arrest of Senator Rochas Okorocha by the personnel of EFCC’, also noted that it was meant to stop him from participating in the APC presidential screening.

“We have been very unwilling to join issues with the Economic And Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, over its case with the former governor of lmo State and Senator representing lmo West senatorial district, Senator Rochas Okorocha,” the statement begins.

“On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, the personnel of the EFCC with armed security agents in their large number, stormed the private residence of Okorocha in Abuja to arrest him.

Read also :‘Okorocha, others should be punished by law if found guilty’, CACOL tells EFCC

“Okorocha is a presidential aspirant on the platform of APC. And the party’s screening for the Presidential aspirants was originally fixed for Tuesday, May 24.

“The conclusion on our part was that, those who had sworn to frustrate Okorocha’s presidential ambition or pursuit, have not relented. And this apprehension had occasioned Okorocha’s demand for either warrant of arrest or court order from the security personnel who laid siege to his house .

“None was provided. The security personnel finally employed force to arrest Okorocha, without any warrant or court order. And if there was any, it could also be made public.

“lt should also be recalled that on the day Okorocha declared to run for the office of President, was also the day the EFCC stormed the venue of the event to arrest him and claimed that they had come to arrest Okorocha and arraign him even when he had not been served. The general outcry by the public, saved the situation.

“Again, EFCC invading Okorocha’s residence to arrest him, less than 48 hours he hosted the meeting of APC Presidential Aspirants from the South East, only raised the antenna of our concern about the motive behind all these.

“The APC presidential primary is taking place in few days time. There is also the concern that the essence of all these is to prevent him from participating in the party’s primary.

“Okorocha has been attending the sittings of the Senate. He has been going to his office to attend to people, including supporters, there was never any attempt to arrest him. He has never been in hidding. Why today (Tuesday) the APC Presidential Screening was to take place?

“All these have only fuelled our suspicion or concern that there could be more than the eyes could see. The EFCC has been in court with Okorocha over N2 billion fraud allegation. Until Okorocha is found guilty, he remains innocent.

“lf Okorocha is forcefully stopped from pursuing his Presidential ambition over a matter he is deemed innocent until proved otherwise, that won’t be a nice story for history and posterity.

“We have refused to believe some valid pieces of information at our disposal on those working to stop Okorocha from exercising his constitutional right. The reason for our doubt being that Okorocha has not done anything to warrant such onslaught.

“Okorocha has sacrificed a lot for this nation and if he is denied the opportunity to pursue his Presidential ambition, either to win or lose, that would be most uncharitable and very unfortunate.

“Let the EFCC continue its work as it concerns Okorocha. But it should not prove those contending that it is all about 2023 Presidential election, right.

“Okorocha has been cooperating with the Commission right from the outset. And would continue to cooperate with the Commission. The drama would have been short or avoided if the Commission had come up with either a warrant of arrest or court order. The whole argument would not have arisen.

“We only appeal that while doing its good works, the EFCC should avoid “strange hands” in its operations. We are yet to detach politics from Okorocha’s ordeal.

“We may be right or wrong. It’s our candid appeal that the Commission should not abort Okorocha’s presidential ambition. Let the APC delegates or Nigerians do that.

“We wish EFCC well. We wish all the security personnel who invaded Okorocha’s house, laid siege there and carried out his arrest, well.”

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