Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, and his wife, Gerald.
The governor’s arrest on Thursday, May 30, 2019 comes just a day after he left his position as governor since he was first elected in 2011.
The anti-graft commission also sealed the former governor’s Eastern Palm University in Ogboko, according to a report by Sahara Reporters.
Okorocha had long complained that the EFCC was being used by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to persecute him due to his rift with national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole. He accused the anti-graft agency of operating different schemes to frustrate his government including freezing the state’s account.
In response to one of his claims last week, the EFCC explained that it did not block the state’s statutory allocation and expenditure, but obtained a freeze order to stop the suspicious disbursement of funds during the state’s governorship election in March.
The EFCC said, “It is pertinent to let Nigerians know that on the eve of the rescheduled March 9, 2019 governorship election in the state, the EFCC got intelligence that part of the Paris Club refund to the state was about to be used for purpose of vote buying and other sundry fraud.
“Arising from the development, the EFCC swung into action and succeeded in blocking withdrawal of the said fund, as well as trace the usage of N500 million which had been withdrawn in cash, out of which N77 million was recovered.”
The EFCC is yet to release an official statement on the former governor’s arrest, but his case is similar to that of former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, who was detained on the same day his tenure expired last year. Unlike Okorocha, Fayose turned himself in to the agency and is currently fighting charges relating to money laundering.