Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, has claimed that the people responsible for non issuance of his Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) are same ones after his head using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).
The governor who disclosed this in a press statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, noted that the simultaneous press conference by EFCC south east zone and that of the headquarters clearly “raises an eyebrow.”
Governor Okorocha alleged that Chairman of the Commission, Alhaji Ibrahim Magu, was quoted as telling journalists at a press conference in London that the commission was investigating him.
According to him, an earlier press conference by the south east zonal chairman of EFCC, Usman Imam, on May, 17, clearly raised his suspicion.
“Alhaji Magu holding his own press conference also on Okorocha, on Monday, May 20, 2019, and only two days after, raises genuine concern. It has also added the fillip to the governor’s earlier worry that those behind the drama over his certificate of return have not gone to sleep but have continued to spread their dragnets or tentacles.
“If you ask us, we won’t join issues with the EFCC as an institution and with Alhaji Magu as an individual. Investigating individuals, governments, institutions etc, is part of the commission’s own rules of engagement and nobody should prevent them or begrudge them for doing that. We only pray that the commission should not allow undue infiltration.
“Good enough, both Alhaji Magu and Mr. Imam never accused the governor of mismanagement or diversion, looking at the contents of their press conferences. They confirmed that the commission is in custody of the money. Out of the N8billion they quoted, they also confirmed that N7.9billion is what they blocked. Then, what is Owelle’s case? And the governor is not owing salary.
“Mr. Imam also threw a kite which could not fly when he told his audience that if not for their timely intervention, over N5billion would have allegedly been deployed in vote-buying by Okorocha’s administration.” How he arrived at that conclusion is what he never said. In other words, he believed what the petitioners wrote. Since investigation is still on, perhaps, at the end of it, the truth will become clearer especially when the incident happened long before the 2019 elections. And one could not have bought votes in the vacuum. Ultimately, vote-buying must be on the election day and perhaps, at the polling Units where the voters were expected to be,” the governor stated.
While commending the EFCC boss for his good jobs, he pointed out that he had done viable projects to justify his spending.
“Alhaji Magu is doing a good job as the head of the EFCC. But he should keep the 5th columnists at arm’s length. He should not eat with them even with the longest spoon. With more than one 1,000 landmark and verifiable projects to his credit, Governor Okorocha must have managed the resources of the state in his time as governor with high sense of prudence.
“And for patriotic Imo people, he remains the defending champion of the Imo governorship since what he has achieved in eight years exceeded all those before him.”