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Former governor of Imo State and current member of the National Assembly, Sen. Rochas Okorocha, has alleged that the ₦2.9 billion fraud charges filed against him at the Abuja division of the Federal High Court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is politically motivated and a ploy to get him out of the 2023 presidential race.
Speaking on a television programme which was monitored Africa Daily News, New York, Okorocha denied the allegations, while also going on to maintain that he had not been served any court papers and that he was certain that someone was behind the move by the EFCC to file the 17-count charge against him in a bid to smear his image and scuttle his chances in the 2023 poll.
He queried the timing of the charges, which came barely hours after he officially declared his intention to contest for 2023 presidency, saying it was the clearest indication that the anti-corruption agency’s action was politically motivated. He said he never diverted funds when he was Imo governor and that he was wealthy before he ran for public office.
‘I am not aware of the charges, I only saw it on television, but no one has ever served me any papers to tell me that I have charges of ₦2.9 billion. I am taken aback and shocked at this kind of presentation. I am quick to agree with those who tell me that this is politically motivated. Why is it that it is on the day that I declared to run for president that these issues are coming up? Since the past two years, I have suffered much humiliation and hate more than anyone in the history of Nigeria.
‘The fraud charges against me are false. I see some kind of intimidation going on and this should not be allowed to happen. I think that there is someone who is working behind the scenes and asking EFCC to do this to me and it is clear that it is to rubbish my image as we approach the 2023 presidential elections, but I don’t think that they would succeed. When these things happen to someone like me, then I don’t know what would be the fate of ordinary people. Before they said it was ₦70 billion, then the last time, EFCC published that ₦5.9 billion was recovered from my account. I challenged EFCC to show proof that such an amount was recovered from my account and since that day, they have not said a word about it, now they have reduced it to ₦2.9billion,’ Okorocha said.
Meanwhile, apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has lambasted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), accusing the body of making itself a willing tool towards harassing the people of the South-East out of the 2023 presidential race.
Africa Daily News, New York reports that this was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the President-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, OYC, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike.
Okwu, who hailed former Imo Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha for joining the presidential race, said it has become a norm for the EFCC to go after the people of the South-East once they showed interest in the presidential race.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK