Anti graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has officially stated that it is conducting a thorough investigation on Govenor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State.
The anti corruption body stated that Governor Okorocha and the state government are being investigated over a case of money laundering.
Usman Imam, the Commission’s zonal head for the South East geo-political zone while speaking with newsmen stated that the state government used money meant for workers during the just concluded 2019 general elections.Usman disclosed that the anti-graft agency’s operatives blocked the state government accounts prior to the 2019 elections after receiving an intelligence report on possible financial misappropriation.
According to the EFCC boss if not for the Commission’s timely bout N5bn would have been used for vote buying during the polls by the Rochas Okorocha led-Imo State government.
He stated that
“About N7.9bn is what had been blocked, although with pressure, subsequently, about N2.5bn was released for salaries. On the whole, we have over N5bn of those funds blocked; we are following up to see what actually happened.
“Honestly, what we discovered was that within two days, N700m was withdrawn in cash; N200m on the first day and N500m on the second day and all these monies were disbursed in a manner that was honestly unpalatable.
“Distribution to school teachers; I don’t know, schools that you were not funding and you wake up on the eve of the election and withdrew N500m cash and start distributing N1000 each or so to teachers. Whatever that means, I don’t know.
“When we came in, we were able to save about seventy something millions of the funds that we discovered were not disbursed, we also blocked it. People are still answering questions as to who asked them to move those monies, monies that were blocked at the banks.
“The sad story about this was that these monies were the intervention funds; the bailout funds that the Federal Government released to states to pay salaries when they were having problems paying salaries.
“They didn’t utilize that money to pay the salaries; they warehoused it and kept it until the election period, they started attempting to draw down the money. Whatever happens, we have saved over N5bn of that money, as we talk, two weeks to handover. Probably, the next government would have that money to use it better. There are a lot of other general investigations going on in Imo right now.”
It will be recalled that Okorocha while reacting to allegation of last minutes withdrawal of funds from the state treasury by the Gov-elect, Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP stated that
“The guy is just being smart politically, but political smartness is different from having the capacity for leadership or governance.
“Where in Imo State, with a meagre Federal Allocation and Internally Generated Revenue, can one get N17bn to withdraw?
“He is coming to become governor with the only income he made at the National Assembly, because prior to his going to the National Assembly, he never did any paid job. And he is trying now to blackmail a man adjudged to be the highest property owner both in Owerri and in Abuja many years before becoming governor.”
What do you think about this story ? Share your views below