The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed criminal charges against the former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, over a N2.9 billion fraud.
This is coming barely a few hours after Okorocha, who is a serving senator, declared his intention to contest for the presidency in 2023.
Okorocha was charged alongside other defendants which include Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited.
According to the 17 count charge filed on Monday, January 31, 2022, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the anti-corruption agency alleged that Okorocha and the other defendants conspired to steal N2.9 billion public funds.
Unending issues with the EFCC
The frosty relationship between the former governor and the EFCC has been on for some time as the EFCC grilled Okorocha in August 2019 after tracing some properties to him, including residential estates, schools, and shopping malls.
Among the sealed properties and investments traced to Okorocha in July, 2019 were Rochas Foundation College, Owerri, East High Primary and Secondary school, Owerri, which belonged to Okorocha’s first daughter, Uloma Nwosu, and All-In Supermarket, Owerri, Imo State.
In the run-up to the last general elections, the EFCC had placed Okorocha under investigation for allegedly withdrawing over N1 billion from state government coffers to aid the campaign activities of his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, during the governorship polls in Imo state.
The commission also arrested the state Accountant-General, Uzoho Casmir, for allegedly assisting Okorocha to withdraw the funds.
Also in April 2021, the EFCC arrested Owelle Rochas Okorocha, in his office in Abuja over alleged money laundering.