ECONOMIC and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) agents have sealed off the Rochas Foundation College in Owerri the Imo State capital belonging to the immediate past state governor Rochas Okorocha.
Between 2011 and 2019, Governor Okorocha governed Imo State and in May this year, he got sworn-in as the senator representing Imo West Senatorial District. However, since taking over from him, new Imo State governor Emeka Ihedioha, has accused his predecessor of diverting state funds to personal use and appropriating Imo land to himself and members of his family.
Consequently, the EFCC has begun investigating Senator Okorocha and yesterday, seized his college amid claims that it was built on Imo State land. Also, the anti-graft agency sealed the East High Primary and Secondary School, Owerri which belongs to Governor Okorocha’s first daughter, Uloma Nwosu.
In addition, the EFCC sealed the All-In Supermarket, Owerri, said to belong to an unnamed member of the Okorocha family. A tag with an inscription Under investigation by EFCC, keep off, was pasted on all of the buildings.
However, the management of the East High Primary and Secondary School said the school was only under investigation and not sealed by the EFCC. In a statement was signed by one Jones Onwuasoanya, while agreeing that the EFCC had the constitutional power to investigate it, the school, stated that the funds used in establishing it were legitimate.
Senator Okorocha has, however, accused his successor, Governor Ihedioha, of working with the EFCC to seal his investments in the state. He argued that the sealing of his investments by the anti-graft agency was against an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
Sam Onwuemeodo, Senator Okorocha’s spokesman, said: “What is obvious is that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-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 the Independent National Electoral Commission 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 as 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.”
He stated that the pupils of Senator Okorocha’s college were mostly orphans who enjoyed free education and would suffer from the EFCC’s action. However, Governor Ihedioha said he had nothing to do with the EFCC action.