The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said its operatives arrested former Governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okoroacha, Tuesday, for refusing to honour the commission’s invitations after jumping the administrative bail earlier granted him by the EFCC.
Operatives of the commission had stormed the Abuja residence of the former governor and Senator representing Imo West at the National Assembly, without arrest warrant, insisting on forcefully taking him away, Okorocha’s aide had revealed.
Supporters of the the lawmaker, who is one of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirants in the planned May 29 and 30, 2022, primary election scheduled to hold at the Eagles Square complex, Abuja, were said to have resisted the operatives of the commission.
Okorocha, in a video, earlier in the day had asked the EFCC operatives who surrounded his house to allow him go for his presidential screening.
The lawmaker said, “I have not been able to go out. There are policemen and EFCC operatives all over my compound and my gate has been blocked with their cars.
“And all I am asking is for them to please allow me to go for my screening which is going on right now with all the presidential aspirants and the primary elecrion is on Sunday and if I am not allowed to go out for the screening I might miss it. I am not an unknown person. I have address and all it takes is for EFCC to send me invitation and I will oblige.
“As I speak now I have requested for an arrest warrant arrest, any court order but none seems to be available. Any invitation? There is none known. I have not been invited and I refused to go. My lawyer has addressed then a d they are saying they have instruction from above to come.and get me.
“So, I don’t know if it is an arrest or invitation and if it is invitation it would only take a letter or a phone call and I will be there but the issue of creating trauma to members of my family is not the best way to go.
“I want to kindly appeal to the EFCC to allow me to give for my screening and do my election. EFCC had said they were taking me to court but I have not been served. I have series of court orders and judgements.”
However, EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, in a press statement, later in the day, said: “Operatives of the EFCC, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, arrived at the Maitama, Abuja home of a former Governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha, to effect his arrest.
“The move followed the refusal of the former governor to honour invitations after jumping the administrative bail earlier granted him by the Commission.
“EFCC had on January 24, 2022, filed a 17-count criminal charge bordering on diversion of public funds and properties to the tune of N2.9billion against Okorocha.
“The case was assigned to Honourable Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja but attempts to arraign Senator Okorocha were twice stalled owing to the absence of the ex-governor who evaded service of processes.
“At the last adjourned date, March 28, 2022, Justice Ekwo before adjourning until May 30, 2022, had warned that it was “the last adjournment I shall grant in this matter.
“In the circumstances, the Commission is left with no option than to effect the arrest of Senator Okorocha and bring him to trial.”