Rochas Okorocha, former Imo State governor
Okorocha

OBINNA EZUGWU

Former Imo State governor and senator representing Imo West senatorial district, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has advised his predecessor, Hope Uzodinma to focus on delivering governance to the people of the state instead of expending his energy pursuing him.

Okorocha who took particular exception to Uzodinma releasing a statement giving reasons why he was released from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), wondered whether it was now the governor’s job to direct the anti graft agency.

The former governor in a statement through his spokesperson, Sam Onwuemeodo, noted that Uzodinma has, through his statement, confirmed that he is just pursuing him over nothing, while advising him to “please stop.”

The statement read, “About 45 minutes after the officers of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), had allowed Senator Rochas Okorocha to go home, after spending 48 hours with them, the governor of Imo State, Chief Hope Uzodinma, through his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Print Media (Local), Hon. Modestus Nwankpa, issued a Press Release giving reasons, why, the Commission allowed Okorocha to go.

“The Press Release, to most people, was shocking and questionable, because EFCC has a spokesman and could not have authorized governor Uzodinma to give reasons, why it allowed one of its guests, in the person of Okorocha, to go home, after he had spent 48 hours in their office.

“Hear governor Uzodinma in the Press Release “the former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha this evening around 5pm was allowed to go home from the EFCC cell where he spent 48 hours plus after his arrest on Tuesday”.

“Governor Uzodinma further Stated in the Release, “in the Case of Okorocha immediately he was arrested, he cried out to some of his friends across the Country for assistance. They came and pleaded to the anti-graft agency for leniency for him on grounds of ill-health. The ex-governor is on drugs”.

“The Imo governor Continued, “again, the anti-graft agency reasoned that since the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) workers are on strike over their demand for autonomy for the Judiciary and since nobody knows when it will last, it will finitely (SIC) hinder the arraignment of the ex-governor. The agency felt with that, it may infringe on his fundamental human right since there is a stipulated time that EFCC can constitutionally keep a suspect in their custody”.

“Governor Uzodinma in the Press Release also Contradicted himself, when he stated “so based on these, he was released on self recognition pending when JUSUN calls off their strike and Court resumes. By that time his arraignment can then take place. So in effect, his release today was circumstantial. The ex-governor on his own made a promise to comport himself honourable (sic) pending when his Prosecution begins. He made pleading (sic) and gave assurances not to misbehave within the time being. They extracted that commitment from him before a serving governor from the South-South, a Northern Emir and a former Senator from the North who stood in as Sureties”. Governor Uzodinma said all these.

“On our part, we had delayed this reaction to see if there would be any denial or disclaimer from the Imo governor, since amateur or overzealous or grossly inexperienced media aides could on their own, go haywire, without the knowledge of their Principal. And having waited for 96 hours without any denial or disclaimer, we decided to react, to the best of our ability.

“With all that governor Uzodinma said, he, on his own, assumed the position of the spokesman of the EFCC or the media aide of the Chairman of EFCC. The reason is that, we know full well that the EFCC, as a very responsible organization or institution, would not have authorized or given Governor Uzodinma the leave to tell the public why it allowed Okorocha to go after 48 hours. The Imo governor was on his own.

“He only, with the Press Release, strengthened his pursuit of Okorocha for no just reason. He had thrown a lavish party at the Government House on the day Okorocha went to the EFCC office on invitation. At the party, he told his appointees that Okorocha won’t come out soon. But EFCC having a sound image to protect, was not expected to succumb to the whims and caprices of people like Governor Uzodinma. It acted as a responsible institution by allowing Okorocha to go.

“And with the Press Release in focus, Governor Uzodinma wanted to explain away the assurances he gave to his appointees at the party under reference.

“It should also be recalled that, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, the same Governor Uzodinma, through the same aide, issued a Statement, dissociating himself from Okorocha’s “enterprise” with EFCC, even when we never accused him of doing so, in our own honest reaction to the development. God told Cain, “You would not have had a frowned face, if you had done well” (Genesis 4:7).

“The same governor who said that he was not part of Okorocha’s ordeal, was the one also telling the world, the reasons the EFCC allowed Okorocha to go. How not to pursue an innocent man.

“Before the EFCC’s matter, on Monday, April 5, 2021, gunmen attacked the Prisons and Police Headquarters in Owerri. The same Monday, Governor Uzodinma in a Statement, accused IPOB of being behind the attacks.

“Forty-eight hours after, the same governor, while on Channel Television, said that it was no more IPOB Personnel that were behind the attacks, but aggrieved Politicians in the State. While he was on Channels, his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Mbadiwe Emelumba was on AIT and told his audience that, it was Ex-governor of the State, Okorocha that was behind the attacks. How not to pursue an innocent man.

“What were their reasons for accusing Okorocha? They said first, that he used those he granted amnesty from Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta areas of the State, to carry out the attacks. When that could not fly, they said he used Northern youths to carry out the attacks. And we are talking about attacks of that Magnitude, that require indept investigations and analysis.

“They said that Okorocha carried out the attacks to cause State of Emergency to be declared in Imo. They said he wanted to prevent the Imo government from implementing the much orchestrated WHITEPAPER. And we have gone through the WHITEPAPER severally, we could only see where some people were asked to take legal actions against Okorocha. All the layouts the WHITEPAPER talked about, were for the public and investors. How not to pursue an innocent man. All these claims and counter-claims from one source is what you see or get when one is given a compulsory role or script to act. We won’t substantiate for now.

“Before all these, Okorocha’s Property was sealed without any Court Order. And when he went to see his property that was unlawfully sealed, government’s thugs and armed men in mobile police uniform attacked him and his aides. It was after the attacks, that the same government rushed to Court to get what it called, Interim forfeiture Order. And that was when Nigerians of good tidings, had told them that they had fucked up, by sealing someone’s property without any legal backing. How not to pursue an innocent man.

“In the same commando manner the property was sealed, was the same manner private warehouses of the former governor, he had had several years before his governorship were invaded and everything in them forcefully taken away. No Court Order warranted all the invasions. How not to pursue an innocent man.

“One morning, Imo people woke up and discovered that one, out of the two tunnels Okorocha constructed had been demolished. No reason was given for the demolition. The same period some of the solid and fine roundabouts Okorocha built, including the ones at Mbaise road junction and Warehouse junction were also demolished for no just reason. Except that, were were told that some “men of god” had told them that the things that were behind Okorocha’s overwhelming popularity in the State, were buried under the tunnels and roundabouts. So, they had demolished the tunnel and roundabouts to unearth such things. We have not been told that they found anything. How not to pursue an innocent man.

“Recently, the governor brought highly placed Politicians and government officials from Abuja to commission projects everyone in Imo knew that Okorocha did them, including Akachi road, Nick Banquet inside the Government House, IMO FOUNDATION, ISOPADEC Headquarters and so on. All these actions were in pursuit of an innocent man.

“Since January 15, 2020 when Uzodinma was inaugurated as Imo governor, which Okorocha attended, the Senator Representing Imo West Senatorial District, had only visited the State six times including the one he visited Orlu which is under his District, after the ugly incident in the area. Other visits were for functions involving his former appointees and members of his Political family. Okorocha, by birth, nature, religion and by training, is a man of peace who cannot hurt a fly.

“So, Governor Uzodinma should please stop pursuing Okorocha, because Okorocha does not pursue anybody. Even as governor, Okorocha never pursued anybody. As governor, Okorocha would not have seen or watched his aides mobilizing thugs against any of the former governors of the State, including Chief Achike Udenwa, Chief Ikedi Ohakim and Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.

“Finally, “For by Strength, shall no man prevail (1 Samuel 2:9). And permit me to add that, by strength shall no woman also prevail.”