The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday has arrested former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha.
Okorocha is among the presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) waiting to be screened this week tentatively by the party ahead of their primaries.
It was gathered that operatives of the EFCC after hours of laying seige at the residence of Okorocha located at 3 Nyasa Close, off Ontario Crescent, off Mississippi Street, Maitama, Abuja, finally broke the entrance doors to force their way into the house.
According to reports, Okorocha was lae out of his residence amid heavy security presence at about 6:47 pm on Tuesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, operatives of the EFCC had besieged Okorocha’s house at Maitama, Abuja, to arrest him.
The commission had in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren claimed that it stormed the residence of the former Governor after he refused to honour several invitations.
The anti-graft agency said Okorocha has been jumping administrative bail granted to him and stalling the court case slammed against before the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The commission further added that it was left with no option that to storm the former governor’s residence and arrest him in order to continue trial at the court.
The statement reads, “Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today May 24, 2022, arrived at the Maitama, Abuja home of a former governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha, to effect his arrest.
“The move followed the refusal of the former governor to honour invitations after jumping the administrative bail earlier granted him by the Commission.
“EFCC had on January 24, 2022 filed a 17-count criminal charge bordering on diversion of public funds and properties to the tune of N2. 9Billion against Okorocha.
“The case was assigned to Honourable Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja but attempts to arraign Senator 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 than to effect the arrest of Senator Okorocha and bring him to trial.”
EFCC had filed a 17-count charge against the two-time governor of Imo state at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
He was alleged to have diverted funds between October 2014 and February 2016 from the Imo State Government House account and Imo State Joint Local Government Project account.
The New Diplomat had earlier reported that Okorocha, who is seeking to contest the 2023 presidential election on the platform of All Progressives Congress(APC) had said the move by the EFCC to lay a siege on his residence was politically motivated.
“I am not an unknown person in the country. I have an address and people know me in the country. All that it takes for the EFCC is to send me an invitation and I will gladly oblige.
“Frankly speaking, the situation I find myself in is a situation of what I call hostage-taking. Policemen and EFCC operatives are currently in my compound and possibly whisking me away, my gate is blocked.
“All I am asking for now is to allow me to go for my screening because I am a presidential aspirant and our election comes up on Sunday. If I am not allowed to go for this screening, I might miss it,” he was quoted to have said.