EFCC apprehended ex governor of Imo state over alleged N7.9b fraud

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Senator Rochas Okorocha was grilled at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday for “suspected multiple cases of fraud and money laundering during his tenure as governor”.

Okorocha, representing Imo West in the Senate, was governor between 2011 and 2019.

He was arrested about 4pm according to a source in the anti-graft agency to answer questions on various allegations leveled against him including alleged N7.9 billion fraud.

The ex-governor is also being probed for another N1.5 billion hospital linked to one of his former aides.

The EFCC had secured a final forfeiture order on the hospital in the court of Justice T G Ringim of the Federal High Court in Owerri.

The state-of-the art 200-bed Dews of Hope Hospital, Owerri, was suspected to have been built with Imo State funds when Okorocha held the forte as governor.

An EFCC source said: “The ex-governor has been on the EFCC radar in the last three years over alleged N7. 9 billion money laundering. One of our investigators appeared in court and declared why he was wanted.

“He also has questions to answer on a separate N1.5 billion hospital built with funds from the Imo State accounts and traced to one of his former aides.

“On July 25, 2019, we invoked Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud, and other Related Offences Act 2006 to seize the hospital which ex-aide disowned.

“Okorocha has to explain the mystery behind the hospital. His former aide and members of board of directors of the hospital said they did not know how it was built.

“The managing director of the hospital, on invitation, could not also explain how the hospital project was funded.

“But, preliminary investigation confirmed that a former permanent secretary during Okorocha’s administration was a signatory to the hospital’s accounts.”

The source added: “There may be other multiple cases as uncovered by the past and present administrations in the state. He is undergoing interrogation as I speak with you.”

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