N7.9bn scandal: ‘EFCC took nothing from me’ – Okorocha explodes

Senator Rochas Okorocha has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of fabricating lies against him, saying the commission did not recover any money from him.

Okorocha’s retort comes after reports credited to the Head of the Port Harcourt zone of the EFCC, Mr Usman Imam, claiming at a press conference on Thursday that he recovered N7.9 billion from Senator Okorocha while he was in charge of the Enugu zone of the commission.

Reacting to the allegations in a statement issued on Friday in Owerri, Okorocha, who was governor of Imo State from 2011 to 2019, stated that the anti-graft agency never recovered N7.9 billion or any other amount of money from him.

The former governor challenged the commission to prove him wrong by publishing details and owners of the accounts the said money was recovered from.

He also challenged the EFCC to publish the details of the said property it marked and seized from him, emphasizing that the property marked had been acquired by him about twenty years ago.

The statement signed by his media adviser, Sam Onwuemeodo, reads:

“The EFCC as a commission or Mr Usman Imam as a person and Head of Enugu zone then, and today, that of Port Harcourt Zone, of the commission, never recovered N7.9 billion or any other amount of money, from Rochas Okorocha

“With this denial, we, therefore, challenge the EFCC or Mr Imam as the one who made the claim, to prove us wrong by publishing details of the bank accounts the money was found and the owners of the accounts.

“We hold the EFCC and its personnel in a very high esteem. And we expect the commission or Mr. Imam to take our denial very serious, because Nigerians of goodwill would like to know who is saying the truth or who is lying.

“Where the commission finds out that it had misinformed the public and had also blackmailed the former Imo governor, perhaps unconsciously, we expect the commission or Mr. Imam to do the needful, which is to retract the media statement and then tell Nigerians the correct story. The N7.9 billion in question must be in bank accounts. Let the EFCC publish the accounts’ details without delay.”

The statement further adds,

“Mr Imam talked about properties owned by Okorocha which the commission had marked. It is also important that Mr. Imam publish those properties because the properties marked had been acquired by Okorocha about twenty years ago. Since Mr. Imam has begun media trial, let the properties be also published for Nigerians to know the truth.

“We have repeatedly told this story, that before the 2019  election, the PDP elements in Imo had written to the EFCC, alleging that Okorocha had planned to use all the state funds to finance the election of his choice candidates. The EFCC, leveraging on the petitions, seized all the accounts of the state, including the ones meant for the payment of salaries, pensions, severance allowances and so on. We have made this particular claim severally and the EFCC or any other interested person or persons have never faulted our claim.”

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