From Fred Itua, Abuja
Former governor of Imo State and senator representing Imo West, Rochas Okorocha, has been granted an administrative bail by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), following his arrest on Tuesday.
Spokesman of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, in a chat with Daily Sun, confirmed the development. He said he was granted bail yesterday evening.
However, Daily Sun gathered that his bail did not happen without some legal encumbrances.
A source told Daily Sun that EFCC had insisted Okorocha must provide two former governors or serving senators from the South East before he could be granted an administrative bail.
Unable to meet the conditions, his lawyer reportedly filed for bail variations and pleaded with the EFCC to soft pedal on the conditions. The source said Okorocha was thereafter granted bail.
It could not be ascertained if Okorocha was asked to return at a later date for more questioning. It could not also be ascertained when the anti-graft agency will charge him to court.
In 2019, soon after Okorocha left office, the EFCC said it traced some stolen assets to him and his cronies. It said Dews of Hope Hospital was traced to Dr. Paschal Obi, his former principal secretary; Market Square Super Market; all in one shop and premises belonging to Imo State Broadcasting Corporation now hosting Rochas Foundation College.
Other property are East High Academy and East High College, owned by Okorocha’s daughter, Uloma Okorocha-Nwosu; Royal Spring Palm Hotel and Apartment, a 16-block cum 96 flats and eight bungalow multi-million naira estate traced to his wife.
In 2019, the EFCC said the commission returned over N5.7 billion to various administrations in Imo to pay salaries and pensions of workers.
On May 10, 2020, a committee set up to investigate the finances of the Imo State government, under the Okorocha administration, said it uncovered N112.8 billion dubious debts owed the state by nine commercial banks.
It said the money owed by the banks were claims from various infractions, including unexplained debits as well as penalties arising from such, in their dealings with the state government.