Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State, has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, of inciting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest him.
Governor Okorocha made this claim in two separate fundamental rights enforcement suits filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Also named as defendants apart from the EFCC by Governor Okorocha are the Attorney General of the Federation, the Inspector-General of Police, the Department of State Services (DSS), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
The governor in the two suits marked FHC/ABJ/CS/474/19 and FHC/ABJ/CS/475/19, alleged that the EFCC had been directed to arrest and detain him immediately his tenure ends on May 29.
He claimed that he has received 25 invitations from the EFCC purportedly investigating the projects he executed while serving as Imo State Governor.
Governor Okorocha also claimed that his family, political and business associates have been targetted in what he described as an “expanded reign of terror” against him.
He listed the family members, political and business associates purportedly targetted as Uloma Rochas, Uju Rochas, Uchechi Rochas, Ahamefula Rochas, Amen Rochas, Amamchi Rochas, Uzoma Anwukah and Uche Nwosu.
The governor averred that his travails resulted due to his support for another candidate for the office of the APC National Chairman against the incumbent holder, Oshiomhole.
The affidavit attached to the suit read: “The applicant had supported a candidate for the position of National Chairman of the APC other than the current incumbent, Mr Adams Oshiomhole and by reason of various events that occurred at the time, including the detention of Mr Adams Oshiomhole by the EFCC on allegations of corruption, it was assumed that the applicant was a party to that incident.
“Some of the supporters of Adams Oshiomhole at the time are currently very influential in the Federal Government of Nigeria which is controlled by the APC.
“These individuals, including the said current national chairman have decided to carry out a vendetta and revenge against the applicant, including instigating the respondents against the applicant upon their spurious conclusion without evidence that the applicant is guilty of corrupt practices as the governor of Imo State.
“The respondents, proceeding from this position that the applicant is guilty unless proved innocent, between 2017 and now, have extended not less than 25 invitations to the applicant in purported investigation of projects executed by the state government in a bid to find some materials to justify their conclusion that he is guilty of corrupt practices.
“This witch-hunt is clearly politically motivated, baseless, and has been designed only to discredit and humiliate the applicant in a bid to decimate him politically.”
The matter has been slated for hearing before Justice Taiwo Taiwo on May 22.