Former Governor Of Imo, Senator Rochas Owelle Okorocha Arrested By EFCC Over Money Laundering.
Okorocha was arrested On Tuesday April 13 2021 at his office Unity House located at Area 11 in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
Former Governor of Imo State Rochas Owelle Okorocha has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC)
A source speaking with The Republican News confirmed the arrest adding that it took about 5hrs before EFCC officials were able to effect the arrest.
Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC Spokesperson also confirming the news said,
“ Former Governor Rochas Okorocha has been arrested by our men”
In a hurriedly release press statement, which seems to be a PR damage control stunt, his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo claims that he was invited and he honoured the invitation.
The press release obtained by The Republican News reads as follows.
RE: SENATOR ROCHAS OKOROCHA AND HIS REPORTED INVITATION BY THE EFCC
We have been inundated with calls by Media Houses and Concerned Nigerians and beyond, trying to Confirm the reported invitation of Senator Rochas Okorocha by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, later today, being April 13, 2021,
The truth is that, Okorocha left as the governor of Imo State on May 28, 2019. And shortly after his exit as governor, Imo State Government wrote Petitions upon Petitions against him.
The EFCC investigated the petitions and has been in various Courts of the land with Okorocha, to that effect.
And if the EFCC has decided to invite Okorocha for Clarifications on the matters already in Courts, especially with a new Chairman at the helm of affairs at the Commission, there is nothing wrong with that.
The matters between EFCC and Okorocha over his governorship in Imo, have been pendent in various Courts of the land.
At the end of the day, we would know whether the Commission will be withdrawing the Cases in Courts, or would Continue with the Cases already in Courts.
But to us, the Commission is doing its job and should be given the needed cooperation. And Okorocha being a law-abiding Citizen, would always cooperate with the Commission over the Matters in Courts. EFCC is not a slaughter House, but a very responsible institution and should be seen as such.
We have no reason to complain about the invitation of today, which Okorocha honoured as patriotic and responsible Nigerian.
Like we Stated earlier, the Commission didn’t invite Okorocha today, for the first time.
Sam Onwuemeodo Special Adviser on Media to the former Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha
Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says the loot recovered from James Ibori, former governor of Delta, should be returned to the source, which is the state.
Falana stated this when he featured on a Channels Television programme on Wednesday.
Commenting on the position of Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, who had said the recovered loot will be channelled into federal projects, Falana said the money should go to Delta, since it was meant for the development of the state.
On Tuesday, the United Kingdom made a commitment to return £4.2 million loot recovered from Ibori to the federal government.
Catriona Laing, British high commissioner to Nigeria, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to that effect with Malami.
But speaking on Wednesday, Falana argued that since the Ibori loot in question left the coffers of Delta state, the federal government has no locus standi to decide how the recovered money is spent.
“Having acknowledged the role of the federal government, the fund has to return to the source. Factually, between 1999 and 2003, the Delta state government like other state governments in Nigeria received its statutory allocation on a monthly basis and paid same into the account of the government. From that account, some amount was alleged to have been diverted and taken to the United Kingdom,” he said.
“As the honourable attorney-general had said, the money is over £100 million. What has been released now is the first tranche of £4.2 million. Since the money left the coffers of the Delta state government, it has to be returned once this fund is recovered.
“The federal government has no locus standi with respect to how the money is spent. That is left for the people of Delta state to monitor the government of that state to ensure that the fund is not relooted.
“In fact, the memorandum of understanding referred to by the attorney-general signed in London, smacks of colonialism. Britain cannot decide on how recovered loot should be spent.
“What I expect the attorney-general or the federal government — in the circumstance — is to collaborate with the Delta state government to ensure that the banks that housed the looted wealth of Delta state or the banks involved, are made to pay collosal damages and interests for denying the people of Delta state the opportunity to use the money for development.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has deepened its probe into All Progressives Congress stalwart, Bola Tinubu, The PUNCH has learnt.
To this end, the EFCC has written a letter to the Code of Conduct Bureau, requesting copies of Tinubu’s asset declaration form.
A copy of the letter which was published by online news medium, The Peoples Gazette, revealed that the investigation into Tinubu began last year after the removal of erstwhile Chairman, Ibrahim Magu.
The letter marked CR/3000/EFCC/LS/Vol4/322, dated November 6, 2020 was signed by the then Lagos zonal head, Abdulrasheed Bawa, who is now the Chairman of the EFCC.
The letter read in part, “In view of the above, you are kindly requested to furnish the commission with the outstanding requested information of Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu.
“This request is made pursuant to Section 38(1) and (2) of the EFCC Act 2004.”
Attempts to speak with the EFCC Spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, proved abortive as he did not respond to calls.
However, a senior EFCC official confirmed the authenticity of the letter, adding that it was part of a wider probe.
The official, who wished to remain anonymous, said the probe was sequel to some petitions written against Tinubu since 2018 which Magu had failed to act on.
The source said, “The letter is authentic. The EFCC is in receipt of several petitions against Tinubu, including one involving alleged fraud in Alpha Beta Consulting.”
A former Managing Director of Alpha Beta Consulting, Mr. Dapo Apara, had written petitions to the EFCC, accusing the firm of tax evasion and being run by Tinubu albeit by proxy.
Apara had also instituted a lawsuit against Tinubu.
In his statement of claim, he stated that Tinubu controlled the company which was receiving 10 per cent of the taxes collected on behalf of the state.
The former MD said as the head of the company, he began looking into its finances and he made many startling discoveries such as mysterious transfers of over N20bn to various companies.
He stated, “N550m payment to Ocean Trust Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 15/5/18, N850m payment to Ocean Trust Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 14/3/15.”
The claimant said N960m was spent on purchasing HITV’s 300,000,000 shares.
However, Alpha Beta Tax consultancy firm, Alpha Beta LLP, denied allegations levelled against it by Apara, adding that he had diverted about $5m during his time as managing director by inflating a contract which was worth about $300,000 and then diverted a separate N6bn to personal use. (Punch)
Reactions have continued to trail yesterday’s judgement in Imo that Okorocha forfeiture of properties acquired is wrong and that the government is wrong to have gone to seal properties without proper application and directions.
We have found out from the reactions of the court that it is true that the government in power is always in charge but also the same government should no that nobody is above the law and as such Imo government is expected to seek redress accordingly.
They did not place the facts before the Judge as the matter is before an appellate court and as such the judgement should be quashed.
An Owerri High Court presided over by Hon. Justice E.F Njemanze, today 24/2/2021 granted an Order of Interim forfeiture against all the property illegally acquired by former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.
Ruling on an ex-parte application for an order for interim forfeiture, filed by L.M Alozie (SAN) on behalf of the Imo State Government, Justice Njemanze granted the order as prayed.
Some of the properties included in the order are: Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, Royal Palm Luxury Hotel, Akachi Road, Old Magistrates Quarters, Orlu Road and many other properties listed and recommended by Justice Duruoha-Igwe panel on illegally acquired landed property.
The Judge Ordered the Applicant, to publish the list of properties in two national and local newspapers to enable anyone who wants to stop making the Order permanent, or who has any interest in any, to apply to the court, and show cause, why, the order will not be made permanent.
By this recent development, we have investigated the proceedings and have this hint that the properties forfeited will henceforth bear Imo state government property and not Okorochas’ pending the final decision by the court.
Meanwhile, Barrister Obinna Amagwula has a contrary view on a radio chat where he insisted that the matter should not be taking to any other court since there is a pending order at a high court in Abuja.
Senator Okorocha loses out as court grants interim forfeiture of properties illegally acquired in Imo That the order of forfeiture is unnecessary, hence on the 13 days of September 2019 a federal high court judge released this same property to the owners. That the court may not be aware that the same matter is pending at an appellate court of competent jurisdiction.
He further stated that those areas of land in the contest was a verge belonging to the state government which was converted and developed by the then governor Okorocha to make Imo fine.
Besides, it is true that the government has the right to allocate land for possible development.
That the obvious is that the matter is already in court.That the affidavit was not inclusive in the order and there is no fact but that the court may have been deceived.
That the government should wait for the EFCC report than a pending suit to conflict with the judicial procedure. Any order gotten therein will be paused. We need to see the order and the affidavit hence there is a suborder. (9News Nigeria)
About 100million barrels of crude oil illegally shipped from Nigeria in 2015, kept in tank farms in Qingdao, China’s eastern Shandong Province, was secretly sold for $800million, and the money shared by ranking members of the President Mohammadu Buhari cabal, investigations have revealed.
Buhari’s late Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, Late Group General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Minister for Power, Saleh Mamman, as well as the current GMD, NNPC, Mele Kyari were reported to have shared of the $800 million.
Also reported to have participated in the sharing was the now suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, Air Commodore Mohammed Umar Rtd, former Director-General, State Security Services, Mallam Lawal Daura.
Codenamed “The China Deal” illegal crude oil sale has become a subject of litigation in far-away Mexico following the refusal of the cabal to pay 5% of the value of 48 million barrels to SAMANO, an Americo- Mexican company that discovered the abandoned crude in Qingdao, Zhoushan and Rizhao, both in China.
Shortly before the 2015 general elections, several vessels of crude left the shores of Nigeria for China. By the time the crude berthed in the Chinese Port in Qingdao, oil buyers backed off after learning of a change of government.
The crude which had been discharged in several tank farms in the port city of Qingdao, Zhoushan, and Rizhao, were abandoned.
Upon Buhari’s inauguration, SAMANO approached certain officials of the new administration, alerting them of the Nigerian crude oil abandoned in China.
According to a court paper exclusively obtained, SAMANO, received a letter in August 2016 from Hamman Saleh, now Minister of Power, through his company, Northon Oil and Gas Services, inviting them to Nigeria to meet with Government officials to discuss the matter.
Sources confirmed that the invitation letter to SAMANO came after the company refused to send details of the found crude via electronic means.
A team from SAMANO, Mexico, led by Messrs. José Salazar Tinajero, arrived in Nigeria. He was accompanied by A. Nick Cadena, and Juan Carlos Jaramillo García, and they held a meeting at No 1 Gado Nasko Close, Asokoro, Abuja, the home of Air Commodore Umar, a close ally of President Buhari.
After the meeting, and with Buhari’s approval, Umar and other members of the cabal, including Mele Kyari, then GGM Crude, NNPC, set out to locate the crude oil
When Umar and Kyari got to China, they connived with others back in Nigeria and agreed to declare that the information was a hoax and that there was no crude oil in any of the tank farms in China. According to a sworn affidavit, Umar and late Abba Kyari had assured SAMANO of 5 percent of the total value of 48 million barrels of crude oil found. However, to their shock, between October and November 2015, SAMANO officials who had returned to Mexico, received intelligence from China that the crude had been sold.
The affidavit claimed that when SAMANO confronted the Nigerian government about their own share of the sale of the crude, they were rebuffed and some of their officials blackmailed, arrested, and locked up in Nigeria.
The affidavit alleged that the GMD NNPC, Mr. Kyari, had told a SAMANO representative via WhatsApp chat that the late Abba Kyari and Umar had taken advantage of the information they provided and sold-off the crude and that they should forget about the deal, promising to make things up for SAMANO.
A very reliable source said that after the sale, the Nigerian officials shared the proceeds and told President Buhari that the buyers were no longer willing to buy the crude because it had no DNA. According to the sources, crude oil secretly shipped to China in 2015 was over 100 million barrels. SAMANO was only able to trace 48 million barrels. The cabal was said to have found an additional 52 million barrels stored in other tank farms in China and sold them off.
SAMANO’s lawyer, Joaquin Esparza Mendez, said that the Mexican Court could not continue with the matter for lack of jurisdiction. He said the Judge had advised they file the case in Nigeria since the Whistleblowers Act for which they are relying on is domiciled in Nigeria.
Sources said that officials of SAMANO have no faith in the Nigerian judicial system and are very unlikely to file the case there. Instead, the Mexican company is said to be preparing to file the matter in a court in London once the pandemic is over.
I am in possession of documents relating to the crude deal, Vessels used, WhatsApp Chats, and others and will make them public as we continue to dig into the dirty deals.
Hajia Sadiya Farouq clears air on COVID 19 palliatives and what she said will definitely shock many Nigerians, especially those in South East and South South region.
“There’s hardly anyone in Nigeria who didn’t receive the Federal Government Palliative care in this trial COVID 19 Pandemic. All the tribes in Nigeria received the palliative, Infact it was evenly distributed.
“Hearing some tribe crying of marginalization, especially the Eastern parts of Nigeria and the South South that no palliative care was given to them tends to blackmail.
“Nobody in the Eastern or South Southern parts of Nigeria will say he or she didn’t receive any palliative from the government, especially the Federal government relieved cash transfer sent to their respective bank accounts. About 95% of them received the relief fund. Those I will say that didn’t receive the funds are children, those still in Primary and Secondary school but every average Igbo man and woman received the palliative care and the relief fund cash transfer.
“Asking me if this could be the reason for the increase in volume of their agitation has nothing to do with the Federal government relieved cash transfer because all of them received the relief fund through their individual bank accounts.
Agitation will not help this country to grow but doing the right thing not to blackmail the government”, the Nigerian most corrupt Minister concluded.
The minister has earlier raised eyebrows when she said that the federal government through her ministry is feeding all school children even during lockdown, when all kids were at home. One wonders if she fed these in their respective homes or via some invisible feeding tube duct.
The godfather of Lagos politics, Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2015, led the Southwest into an alliance with the north to birth the All Progressive Alliance (APC). His decision, evidently, was informed by the expectation that the two geopolitical regions will share power, invariably to the exclusion of the Eastern bloc. And ultimately that he, or the Southwest will take power by the time the north completes two terms in 2023. But it has proved to be a miscalculation.
Certainly, power play is about conspiracies and alliances. Tinubu is well within his right to do what he thought would best advance his political interest and that of his region. However, in backing President Muhammadu Buhari, he cut his nose to spite his face.
It may not have seemed obvious to many, but once Buhari took power in 2015, Tinubu’s political career was in jeopardy.
To navigate the president without bruises, the best Tinubu could have done was retire from active politics and assume the role of an elder statesman. He did not, he stayed on, wanting to be president and pushing hard to remain at the centre of political discourse. But power is jealous and if there is any holder of the highest office in the land who would tolerate a co-president, it is not Buhari. Things are beginning to unravel, fast.
Without Tinubu and by extension, the Southwest, Buhari could not have been president today. This is one fact that president’s men who now dominate the political space and brook no opposition will hate to admit, but it remains true, regardless.
But being essentially Buhari’s kingmaker, it was political naivety to decide to hang around in the expectation that he would share power. The old Machiavellian advice is that the prince must first destroy the one who made him king. Reason? Because he could decide tomorrow to make another king.
Writing in ‘The Prince’, the legendary Niccolo Machiavelli noted “… he who is the cause of another becoming powerful is ruined; because that predominancy has been brought about by astuteness or else by force, and both are distrusted by him who has been raised to power.”
Of course, it should have been obvious that, in helping to make Buhari president, Tinubu wasjeopardizing his political career and plunging the Southwest and by extension, southern Nigeria into political slavery whose only parallel in the country’s political history, is the late Emeka Ojukwu leading the Igbo to war in 1967.
With respect to the Biafra war, blaming Ojukwu for embarking on it could earn one exile in the Igbo country. But if truth be told, the war was avoidable and could have been avoided if Ojukwu had not been too stiff to listen to the likes of Zik and other intellectuals who understood better, international politics and diplomacy. This is not to say, nonetheless, that Ojukwu was not sufficiently provoked by the killings of the Igbo in the north in the aftermath of the July 1966 revenge coup that threw up Yakubu Gowon as head of state, and indeed the actions – or lack of it – of the Gowon-led federal side. Regardless, it was still in his hands to accept to fight or toe the path of diplomacy which, given the circumstances, was the best option and the only way to win international support for his secession quest. In the event, he went to war and only succeeded in sacrificing more Igbo lives and weakening the Igbo politically.
The consequence of that weakening is that it provided fertile ground for the emergence of hegemonic northern power. The imbalance so created is largely responsible for the crisis of Nigeria’s national identity. One mistake many Nigerians, particularly in the south, make is the assumption that the country is already formed and settled as a circular state. It’s not the case. There is the ever present quest to define the country, right of course, from the 1804 jihad.
Colonial rule put a stop to it, then in the post war years, the middle belt soldiers who dominated the army acted as a wedge. Tinubu’s alliance with Buhari has served to reenact that quest. Buhari is now, apparently, out to define the country. The Jagaban’s political miscalculation could yet prove too costly.
The old generals who I reckon, understand this are already raising alarm. But of course, the horde of naive, ignorant online crowd of crumb eaters are blurring the resistance line.
As it concerns the 2023 presidency, it should be clear to anyone with a functioning brain that President Buhari’s north has no intention of relinquishing power to the southwest or any zone for that matter. What many may not have realised, however, is that for the next three decades at least, if ever, and should Nigeria remain one, power will not leave the north. But in projecting, one must always leave space for the law of unintended consequences and the God factor.
But given Buhari’s antecedents, was there any grounds for the southwest particularly to have given him benefit of the doubt in 2015? Absolutely none in my reckoning. However, it would appear that emotion rather than sound political calculation informed their support for Buhari in 2015. It was, perhaps, more of spite for the East than love for Buhari. I had been amazed when, in the heat of the moment in 2015, before the election, the news editor of my then media platform branded a fellow reporter who didn’t buy into the Buhari presidential project a “bloody b*stard who is following the Igbo people to betray Yoruba by supporting Jonathan.”
In the lead up to the 2019 polls, I had on several occasions engaged my landlord – a backer of Buhari’s second term project who loves to discuss politics with me – on who between Atiku Abubakar and the president would make a better leader. My insistence was, of course, that Atiku would. After we exhausted all manner of issues he raised against the former vice president, he said finally that he would still back Buhari because Atiku was an “Omo Igbo project” and that “after Buhari, Yoruba will take power and after Yoruba, Hausa will take power again.” According to him, “we will be rotating it like that, Igbo people will never smell that place.” I had more of pity for his ignorance.
When in 2003, Buhari joined presidential race, he did so, apparently to stop the then president, Olusegun Obasanjo. Not because Obasanjo had performed badly as president, having taken power with the return of democracy in 1999, but because Buhari and the section of the north he represented believed that power had to return to the region.
In settling for Obasanjo in 1998/99, the intention of the northern military class was for him to do four years as compensation for MKO Abiola – the Yoruba had become uncontrollably agitated – and hand power back to the north. But not long after Obasanjo took power, it became clear that he was never going to leave it for anybody. This realisation led to agitations, criticisms of Obasanjo government was swift in the north, the climax of which was the Sharia crisis of 2000. To take power however, the anti Obasanjo forces in the north knew that ultimately, it was about going to challenge him at the polls. Buhari emerged as the arrow head of that challenge. And through speeches and actions that appealed to regional sentiments, he built cult following that saw him win elections convincingly in the north right from 2003.
Until 2014/15, Buhari was a regional hero who believed he could become president by winning elections in the north and never thought seriously about campaigning in the south. However, in 2014/15, the Tinubu led southwest gave him an undeserved national platform, and through heavy media propaganda, dressed him in the robe of a born again democrat. But old habits die hard. Once in power, Buhari did not hesitate to take off the borrowed garb of a nationalist and democrat to put on his original robe of sectionalism. Right from his first set of appointments, he made clear his intentions. And as it stands, he has completely consolidated power in the hands of the north. Buhari is an idealogue, usually idealogues are very resolute and persistent people. Say what you will, he is doubling down on nepotism. Shout ‘Fulanisation’ or ‘Islamisation’ all you will, he will only look for a hate speech bill or social media bill to shut you up rather than re-examine his ‘hate’ policies.
Possibly, when Buhari is done with the country – if he has his way – no southerner will, on the basis of election, ever become president except at the behest of the north. By suppressing votes in the south and inflating figures in the north, the administration is only trying to establish a pattern, a dangerous pattern which supporters of his party in the south are evidently too blind to see.
It is clear to the discerning where the president is headed. But the question is whether he would succeed. I had pointed out elsewhere that the project would fail, ultimately, because Nigerians are too many to be subjugated.
It would seem, from the actions of those controlling the levers of power, that there is an attempt to precipitate a national crisis with a view to using force to take over the country. But of course, this is a country of 200 million people. The advantage those who have “legitimate” right to bear arms are enjoying at the moment would be lost if there a total breakdown of law and order. And the country would break into fractions controlled by warlords such that it would take a miracle to have it again as one, stable country for anyone to control.
THE DIRTY POLITICS OF THE YORUBAS! THEY WOULD SUPPORT THE DEMONS FOR CRUMBS OFF THEIR TABLES PURELY TO CURRY FAVOUR!
Lord Abiodun Ogunseitan Founder of the reform party of Nigeria
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The Economic and Financial Crime Commision has stormed the house of the ex-governor of Imo state Rochas Okorocha and his wife Nkechi Nneoma.
The outgoing governor of Imo state predicted on Wednesday about his arrest when he was warning that being a governor is like a sheild, but once you leave office, the mask and shield are removed. It is as if he knew what was coming to him.
He also as in a preemptive move warned the incoming governor, H.E. Emeka Ihedioha not to try to fight him that he will fight back.
The EFCC has also sealed his Eastern Palm University at Ogboko.
This is a developing story. Details later……
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