The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has returned over N5.7 billion from the N7.9 billion recovered from different bank accounts and assets belonging to former Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha, to the state, for the payment of workers’ salaries and pensions.
The commission has also vowed to commence prosecution of the former governor upon the conclusion of its ongoing investigation.
Imam Usman, the zonal head of EFCC in Port Harcourt, disclosed this in Port Harcourt during a mid-year briefing on the activities of the commission within the six months.
Speaking at the commission’s zonal office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Thursday, June 11, 2020, the zonal head, Usman Imam, said N7.9 billion belonging to Imo State was seized from the former governor during EFCC investigations.
Imam, who has been in charge of the ongoing probe of the former governor said the commission returned over N5.7 billion to various administrations in Imo to pay salaries and pensions of workers.
He said: “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 N7.9 billion in different accounts. All the monies that were released to the Imo State government were from the N7.9 billion recovered from Okorocha.
The monies were released in batches. “N2.7 billion was released in March for salaries.
In the PDP government of Emeka Ihedioha, excess of N2.5 billion 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 N2 billion.
We were able to release N514 milion just last month because an excess of about N1.8 billion is encumbered with a court process. Contractors went to court and targeted the funds. The process is lingering. They still have an excess of N1.8 billion that is not released”.
Apart 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.
He said: “The investigation has got to an advanced stage and we are expecting that in 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”.