The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said that it has returned over N2.7bn from the N7.9bn recovered from different bank accounts and assets belonging to former Governor of Imo State, Sen. Rochas Okorocha.
The Port Harcourt Zonal Head of EFCC , Mr. Imam Usman who disclosed this in Port Harcourt on Thursday during a mid-year briefing on the activities of the commission within the six months noted that the prosecution of Okorocha was brought from Enugu state, adding the commission immediately freezed the accounts of the suspect.
He said: “Furthermore, upon my deployment to this zone, the investigation of corruption allegation against the former Governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha was transferred from the Enugu Zone to Port Harcourt for further investigation.
“Within the period in review, the Commission succeeded in freezing about N7.9billion in different accounts. Out of this, N2.7billion was released to the Imo state government to enable it pay staff salaries and pensions.
“Also, properties worth billions of Naira recovered in the course of the investigation have been forfeited to the Federal Government.”
He noted that out of the N2.7 billion already returned to Imo State for payment of workers salaries and pension that the immediate passed governor of the state, Chief Emeka Ihedioha got N2.5 billion, while Hope Uzodinma has already received N514 million.
According to him “Only last month, N514million was further released to the incumbent administration of the state to enable it meet its obligations to workers.
“All the money released to Imo State were the monies that were recovered from the former Governor of the state, N7.9 billion.
“The money was released in batches. In the government of Emeka Ihedioha, we released excess of 2.5 billion for salaries and pensions. They were money recovered for the state and they have to go back to the state.
“When the Emeka left and Uzodinma came there was still reminant of the money. It was excess of N2 billion. And we were able to release 514 million just last month to the state. Because excess of N1.8 billion is incumbent in court process because some contractors when to court and wanted some refund.
“The court process is lingering so we still have excess of N1.8 billion that has not been released because of the court process.”
Usman stated that investigation of Okorocha was at its peak, adding that upon conclusion the Senator would be arraigned.
He said that when the matter was brought from Enugu, Ibrahim Magu, saw the need for the continuity of that case and directed them to continue with the investigation.
the Commission in course its investigation targeted some of the former
governor’s assets in Imo, Owerri and Abuja saying that some of the
properties were marked for interim forfeiture.
He stated the it recovered N291 million within the second quarter of the year adding that it has also secured 16 convictions out of 22 prosecutions it commenced within the period under review.