Our reporter

Over N5.7billion Naira recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha has been returned to the state government.

EFCC said the amount is part of the N7..9 billion recovered from different bank accounts and assets belonging to the former governor who is now a senator.

According to Zonal Head of EFCC in Port Harcourt, Imam Usman who made the disclosure in Port Harcourt during a mid-year briefing on the activities of the commission within the six months, the money was returned to various administrations in the state to enable them pay salaries of workers as well as pensions for retired public servants.

The commission also vowed to commence prosecution of the former governor upon the conclusion of its ongoing investigation.

According to Usman Imam, who was in charge of the probe of the former governor said EFCC- “I started the Imo State case in Enugu and upon my deployment to this zone, the investigations of corruption allegations against the former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, was transferred from the Enugu zone to Port Harcourt for further investigations.

“Within the period, the commission succeeded in freezing about N7.9bn in different accounts. All the monies that were released to Imo State government were from the N7.9bn recovered from Okorocha. The monies were released in batches. “N2.7bn was released in March for salaries. In the PDP government of Emeka Ihedioha, excess of N2..5bn upon series of writings and our insistence of monitoring it, was released to pay salaries and pensions because they were monies recovered from the state so it has to go back to the state.

“When the government of Emeka Ihedioha left and this government came, we had a remnant of the money in excess of N2bn. We were able to release N514milion just last month because excess of about N1.8bn is encumbered with a court process. Contractors went to court and targeted the funds. The process is lingering. They still have excess of N1.8bn that is not released,” he said.

part from the money recovered from Okorocha, the EFCC zonal boss said the senator’s assets were also identified in Imo and Abuja and seized by the commission. He said the commission filed a court process for interim forfeiture of the assets confiscated from Okorocha.

“The investigation has got to an advanced stage and we are expecting that on conclusion, we are going to arraign the former governor.

“It is in the course of investigations that we targeted his assets. Some are in Imo, Owerri and some are in Abuja. We marked these properties in Abuja and we have filed court processes for interim forfeiture of these assets. The target is to conclude the investigations and he will have his day in court,” Imam said.

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