The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have sealed the Rochas Foundation College, Owerri, Imo State, belonging to the immediate past state governor, and serving senator, Rochas Okorocha.
The anti-graft agency also sealed the East High Primary and Secondary School, Owerri which belongs to Okorocha’s first daughter, Uloma Nwosu, and the All-In Supermarket, Owerri, which belongs to a member of the Okorocha family.
A tag with an inscription, “Under investigation by EFCC, keep off,” was pasted to the buildings.
But the management of the East High Primary and Secondary School in a statement on Wednesday said the school was only under investigation and not sealed by the EFCC.
According to a statement signed by one Jones Onwuasoanya, the EFCC had the constitutional power to investigate the school, stated that the funds used in establishing the school were legitimate.
But in a statement by his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha accused his successor, Emeka Ihedioha, of working with the EFCC to seal his investments in the state, an action which he says is against an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
The statement reads: “What is obvious is that the Peoples Democratic Party-led 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.
“That was why they needed INEC to declare their candidate winner even when he did not meet the requirements. Unfortunately, they have instigated certain agencies like the 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 taken 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 investigations in which the managements or the proprietors would have also been interrogated.
“Sealing the colleges and other property because they belong to the Rochas Okorocha family before investigation is what is difficult for us to comprehend especially when most of these establishments had preceded the governorship of Rochas Okorocha.”
“The Rochas Foundation Colleges have existed in Imo and in many states of the federation including Plateau, Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, Oyo, Bauchi and so on, years before Okorocha’s governorship. And the EFCC may also go to those states outside Imo to seal the rest of the colleges.”
“What is happening in Imo at the moment is not governance. It is a total war against Rochas and his family, the APC members, members of other parties and opponents. They say they want to make the state uncomfortable for opponents and they are doing it with recklessness.
“It should also not be forgotten that there is a subsisting court order to this effect and we believe that the commission’s office in Enugu is aware of the court order in question as it concerns the commission and Okorocha’s investments. The EFCC is a highly responsible institution and our appeal is that it should not be incited against Okorocha and his family and should equally take cognisance of the court order in question.
“Senator Rochas Okorocha and family believe strongly in the state and have relocated most of their businesses to Owerri unlike these PDP bigwigs who do not love the state, with all of them having nothing to show that they have a stake in the state.”
Current Imo state governor, Ihedioha has however denied being the brains behind the sealing of the buildings.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Chibuike Onyeukwu, with newsmen on Wednesday, Ihedioha said “The governor has no hand in the sealing of Okorocha’s investments by the EFCC. For the records, the EFCC had already started its investigations against Rochas Okorocha before this administration came on board on May 29.”
“There is no truth that the governor is engaging in the witch-hunt of Rochas Okorocha. They should show proofs that the governor is doing so. The governor can’t deviate from his core mandate of rebuilding the state to embark on the witch-hunt anybody including Rochas Okorocha.
“If there is any witch-hunt it is his misgovernance of the state that is hunting him. The governor is focused and determined to rebuilding the state”, he added.