The outgoing governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha has revealed that those behind his Certificate of Return ordeal are the ones also using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to chase him.
This is as the EFCC has petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Justice Abdul Kafarati, over an ex parte order stopping the ongoing investigation of the governor.
The anti-graft agency has asked the NJC and Justice Kafarati to review the conduct of Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo of the Federal High Court on alleged obstruction of investigation of some high profile cases.
Justice Taiwo had also granted a similar order staying action on the investigation of the Senate President Bukola Saraki, and former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose.
According to Okorocha, the simultaneous press conference by EFCC, South East zone and that of Alhaji Ibrahim Magu, who was quoted to have told newsmen at a press conference in London that the Commission was investigating him, clearly “raises an eyebrow.”
Okorocha who revealed that much in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, yesterday (Tuesday), noted that the development clearly douses his suspicion.
He said; “Alhaji Magu, holding his own press conference also on Okorocha, on Monday, only two days after, raises genuine concern.
“This has also added fillip to the governor’s earlier worry that those behind the drama over his certificate of return have not gone to sleep, but have continued to spread their dragnets.
“If you ask us, we won’t join issues with the EFCC as an institution and with Magu as an individual. Investigating individuals, governments, institutions etc, is part of the Commission’s rules of engagement and nobody should prevent or begrudge them for doing that.
“We only pray that the Commission should not allow undue infiltration.
“Good enough, both Magu and Imam never accused the governor of mismanagement or diversion, looking at the contents of their press conferences.
“They confirmed that the Commission is in custody of the money. Out of the N8billion they quoted, they also confirmed that N7.9billion is what they blocked
“Then, what is Okorocha’s case? And the governor is not owing salary,” the statement added.
However, the anti-graft agency queried the decision of the judge who has granted a similar ex-parte order to Okorocha, Saraki and Fayose
A source within the commission said: “The EFCC has decided to protest to the NJC and the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to review the conduct of the judge, especially alleged abuse of ex-parte order.
“The EFCC is kicking against the conduct of Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo granting ex parte orders restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from performing its statutory functions.
“We believe the order of Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo was seeking to abort a process that had started. It is really unfortunate that Okorocha, who is enjoying constitutional immunity, will still go to the Federal High Court to halt his investigation.
”We believe it is a well-established legal principle that no court has the power to stop the investigative powers of the EFCC or any agency established under the laws to investigate crimes”.