The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has lauded the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for its recent action at retrieving some high-end properties traced to the immediate past governor of Imo State, Chief RochasOkorocha and members of his family.
In a release issued by the Coordinator of Media and Publications for the anti-corruption organization, Adegboyega Otunuga, on behalf of its Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, he stated, “We would recollect that shortly after assumption of office, some state governors blew the whistle on how their predecessors had looted their respective states’ treasury, converted government properties into personal and family ownership and use while outrightly expropriating resources belonging to the public through last-minute contract awards and phoney transactions. Prominent amongst such indicted governors was Senator RochasOkorocha whose successor in office, EmekaIhedioha, accused of appropriating so many governor properties to self and family, especially shortly before handing over date.
After this note of alarm, CACOL had issued a statement asking the EFCC and the ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission) to quickly swing into action and investigate those claims by the diverse states’ governments. This was with a view to not only retrieving those resources that run into billions of Naira, but to also serve a note of warning that this government actually meant business in combatting corruption, headlong, and bringing culprits to book, no matter how highly connected or positioned. It is, therefore, heartwarming and reassuring that the two (2) major anti-graft organizations in the country have heeded our clarion calls as much as the governors who were practical enough to actually blow the whistle on the can of worms left behind by their predecessors.
“According to the EFCC acting spokesperson, Tony Orilade, after appropriate investigation, some of the ill-acquired properties traced to the former governor of Imo state, OwelleRochasOkorocha and his family include, Dews of Hope Hospital traced to Dr Paschal Obi, former Principal Secretary to ex-Governor Okorocha, Market Square Super Market (all in one shop) and premises belonging to Imo state Broadcasting Corporation, now hosting Rochas Foundation College owned by Senator RochasOkorocha. Others are East High Academy and East High College, owned by Okorocha’s daughter, UlomaOkorocha- Nwosu, Royal Spring Palm Hotel and Apartment, a 16-block cum 96 flats and eight bungalows multi-million Naira estate traced to Okorocha’s wife, etc. All these are suspected resources that were looted from Imo State coffers by their former Governor”
The CACOL boss added, “Without mincing any words, this sting operation against the malfeasance and unscrupulous looting of public resources by RochasOkorocha is quite commendable. This becomes more appreciable when one considers the fact that the ex-Governor was one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s close-corridor friends. What this means is that the current government actually meant his word, when he said ‘he has no friend and he has no enemy”. Our major wish is that this land must be seriously healed of the evils of corruption and its cascading taproot terminated from our body-polity. The momentum has to be sustained as other indicted governors would now be busy, frantically covering their tracks and manipulating records and other evidence. This is where we expect the anticipatory acumen of our anti-corruption agencies to be more incisive and swift as they beam their keen satellite on that stolen wealth. This is the only way towards returning our country back to the era of social order and economic stability.”