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EFCC arrests Okorocha after 7-hour siege

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission yesterday arrested a former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha. They whisked him away from his Maitama…

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission yesterday arrested a former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.

They whisked him away from his Maitama residence in Abuja after laying siege to it for over seven hours.

The operatives broke into Okorocha’s sitting room after firing gunshots and tear gas canisters to disperse protesters who attempted to resist his arrest.

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An official of the EFCC said Okorocha was later taken to headquarters of the commission.

He said the former governor would be in custody till May 30 when he would be arraigned.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, had, earlier in a statement yesterday, explained that Okorocha had failed to honour several invitations extended to him after jumping the administrative bail earlier granted him by the commission.

Uwujaren recalled that the EFCC had, on January 24, filed against Okorocha, a 17-count charge bordering on diversion of public funds and properties to the tune of N2.9 billion.

He said the case was assigned to Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, but attempts to arraign Okorocha were twice stalled owing to the absence of the ex-governor who evaded service of processes.

“At the last adjourned date, March 28th, 2022, Justice Ekwo, before adjourning until May 30th, 2022, had warned that it was ‘the last adjournment I shall grant in this matter.’

“In the circumstances, the commission is left with no option but to effect the arrest of Senator Okorocha and bring him to trial.”

Addressing reporters earlier yesterday, Okorocha had said the invasion of his residence would prevent him from going for the APC presidential screening.

Our correspondent, however, reports that the APC had on Sunday indefinitely postponed the screening.

“Frankly speaking, the situation I find myself is a situation of what I call hostage. Policemen and EFCC operatives are currently in my compound and they want to possibly whisk me away. My gate is blocked.

“All I’m asking for now is to allow me to go for my screening because I’m a presidential aspirant and our election comes up on Sunday. If I’m not allowed to go for this screening, I might miss it,” Okorocha said.

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