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EFCC Marks Nine Choice Assets Linked To Okorocha

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EFCC Marks Nine Choice Assets Linked To Okorocha

EFCC Marks Nine Choice Assets Linked To Okorocha
July 25
17:52 2019

Rochas Foundation School, East High College and seven other choice properties linked to the immediate past governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha and members of his family have been sealed in the Southeast state.

They were sealed on Tuesday night by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft agency said it decided to mark the assets because the former governor and his relations spurned its invitation for questioning.

The other assets are: Royal Spring Palm Hotel and Apartment, a 16 block cum 96 flats and eight bungalow multi-million naira estate, allegedly belonging to Okorocha’s wife; a hospital-owned by Dr. Paschal Obi, a former Principal Secretary to the former governor; and East High Academy and East High College, owned by Okorocha’s daughter, Uloma Okorocha-Nwosu, among others.

The commission said it at no time “raided” nor “harassed” anyone in the course of marking the properties.

It denied raiding and displacing students of Rochas Foundation College because the school was not in session.

The Commission urged Nigerians to disregard the antics of some unscrupulous politicians and fraudsters.

The EFCC made the clarifications in a statement in Abuja through its Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Tony Orilade.

The statement said: “The EFCC wishes to state that its Enugu Zonal Office on Tuesday traced and marked some properties traced to the former Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha as well as those of his family members and cronies.

“The marking of the properties which is a fall-out of our painstaking investigation, is as a result of the failure of the suspects to honour the commission’s invitation for questioning on the propriety of their acquisition.

“The properties include: Dews of Hope Hospital traced to Dr. Paschal Obi, former Principal Secretary to ex-governor Okorocha; Market Square Super Market; All in One Shop; and premises belonging to Imo State Broadcasting Corporation now hosting Rochas Foundation College owned by Senator Okorocha.

“Other properties are: East High Academy and East High College, owned by Okorocha’s daughter, Uloma Okorocha-Nwosu; Royal Spring Palm Hotel and Apartment, a 16 block cum 96 flats and eight bungalow multi-million naira estate traced to Okorocha’s wife.

The EFCC explained that it gave occupants of the properties adequate notice before moving in.

The statement added: “The commission at no time “raided” nor “harassed” anyone in the course of marking the properties as its operatives, in line with international best practices, informed the occupants of the facilities in good time, before taking the action.

“It is also pertinent to state that the commission has pictorial and video evidences which put a lie to the claim that Rochas Foundation College was allegedly raided by the EFCC while in session.

“This could not be so because the school was not in session and could not have had its students harassed as was fed some online media.

“The commission would ordinarily not bother with any allegation coming from the camp of Senator Okorocha, having noted his penchant for frivolities and propaganda; but this rebuttal has become pertinent in other to clear doubts especially in these days of fake news.

“We urge all well-meaning Nigerians to disregard the antics of some unscrupulous politicians and fraudsters who seek to distract the Commission from holding them accountable for their nefarious activities.”

The EFCC explanation put paid to insinuations that the anti-graft agency’s moved followed series of petitions written against the former governor by the Governor Emeka Ihedioha-led administration.

Among other things, the former governor was accused of converting government property to personal use.

When Our Correspondent  visited the college and other assets, there was a bold sign with the inscription “under investigation keep off by EFCC” written on the gates.

But Okorocha accused the EFCC of collaborating with the PDP-led government to witch hunt him.

The former governor, now the Senator representing Imo West, said that the closure of the Rochas Foundation College, other businesses and property belonging to him and his family members without formal invitation, was a confirmation that the Commission was out to intimidate and harass him.

Okorocha’s reaction was contained in a statement by his media adviser, Sam Onwuemeodo.

He said in the statement: “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. Unfortunately, they have instigated certain agencies like EFCC into taking some hasty actions following flood of petitions by them.

“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.

“To the best of our knowledge too, these Colleges have not been under the investigation of the Commission. We have had the feeling that the Sealing of the Colleges or any other structure as the case maybe, would have been based on the outcome of their investigation in which the managements or the proprietors would have also been interrogated.

“On July 23, as at about 6am, agents of the EFCC from its Office in Enugu with Hilux buses loaded with armed military and mobile policemen stormed the Rochas Foundation College Owerri, with more than three thousand students, and most of them, orphans, and sealed the college.

“The Commission also sealed the East High College and Academy, Owerri with Uloma Rochas Nwosu as the proprietor, among other investments belonging to the former governor and family which the commission sealed.

“The action of EFCC with the presence of heavily armed military and Police Mobile Personnel frightened the students and most of them began to cry. It was a sympathetic scenario.

“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. Unfortunately, they have instigated certain agencies like EFCC into taking some hasty actions following flood of petitions by them.

“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. To the best of our knowledge too, these Colleges have not been under the investigation of the Commission.

“We have had the feeling that the sealing of the Colleges or any other structure as the case maybe, would have been based on the outcome of their investigation in which the managements or the proprietors would have also been interrogated.”

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Mujeeb

Mujeeb

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