An Arewa group, Concerned Northern Forum (CNF) has urged the police to arrest former Governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha, alleging that he was involved in massive looting as governor and must not be allowed to escape the law.
“We are here to call on the Inspector General of Police to order the immediate arrest of Senator Rochas Okorocha who was caught red handed breaking the law. Except the police are telling us that Okorocha is above the law as he had boasted, he should be taken into custody immediately,” the group said.
While addressing a press conference in Kaduna on Friday, the group said Senator Okorocha was not above the law and unless he was tried over all the petitions written against him and his wife,the likes of Senator Joshua Dariye and Governor Jolly Nyame who were in prison for embezzlement, should be freed.
Comrade Abdusalam Mohammed Kazeem ,President Northern Nigerian Youth Forum,who spoke on behalf of 7 other northern groups that were against decades of political corruption and mismanagement in Nigeria, also called on the authorities to scrutinized the activities of Foundations,alleging that many were used to launder funds.
“This press conference today would not have been necessary if our leaders applied themselves diligently to their jobs and ensured that those who infringed on the law are punished accordingly irrespective of their position, status, political party and religion,” he said.
“The disturbing signals we have been getting from Imo State in the last few days where a former governor of the state, Senator Rochas Okorocha has dared Government and all its institutions and appears to be getting away it, compelled us to address this conference. ”
“For those of you not properly appraised of the situation, the state government set up various commissions of inquiry to probe the administration of Okorocha who was accused of large scale corruption by the people of the state. These commissions were set up by the short lived Government of RT Hon Emeka Ihedioha. You will also recall that within that period, the government attempted to recover some looted vehicles from Okorocha which ended in a serious disaster between the committee and those on the payroll of the senator. ”
“The head of the task force for the recovery was beaten into coma and stripped naked by the thugs of Okorocha. Strangely the police stood by and did nothing even when the former governor boasted that anyone who dared him will suffer a similar fate.’
“Unfortunately nobody did. When Senator Hope Uzodinma came in as Governor, he invalidated those commissions giving them the force of law according to the wishes of Imo people. As a man already used to impunity and lawlessness, Okorocha refused to appear before the commissions to defend himself against mind bogging allegations of mindless looting of the state property. Instead he rushed to court to try to stop the panels from functioning.’
” When he failed,he decided to run to some powerful stakeholders from within and outside the state. As expected, the governor rejected the satanic appeal of those stakeholders who are not ready to serve their people by themselves and immediate families alone.”
“Our in-depth findings shows beyond reasonable doubt that the current Governor is a though person that is ready to sacrifice himself for his people providing his actions are within the law of the land. The recommendations of the panels were properly taken through the rigours of law and subsequently gazetted.”
” It was only after that that the government started implementation of those recommendations which expressly stated that all looted assets and funds of the state should be recovered from those indicted. Okorocha and many others where indicted.”
“Now Government duly sealed some of the property as required by the law. One of them was the royal palm gardens dubiously acquired by Okorocha’s wife at a staggering sum of over a billion Naira. Instead of seeking the legal route, the former governor took the laws into his hands by breaking the sealed properly. Of course as is natural with him, Okorocha undertook that illegal assignment with a legion of thugs. Although, he was among those arrested that night, Okorocha was not charged along with the other thugs the next day. And that brings us to the subject of this conference: Is Rochas Okorocha above the law?”
“Even before the former governor was indicted by the various panels which confirmed that Sen. Okorocha, his immediate family /extended families and some few political associates looted Imo State to the point of death, there had been series of petitions to the EFCC and ICPC, yet Okorocha was never arrested. Does it then mean that we are in an animal farm where some animals are more equal than others? Again we ask is Rochas Okorocha above the law? ”
“We know that Okorocha has boasted severally that he is richer than Imo State. We want to know at what point did he achieved that since it was a public knowledge that the man was on the verge of bankruptcy before he became Governor. Again what business was the wife doing that she could build a five billion Naira estate among other properties? Come to think of it, where did Okorocha’s family get Twenty billion to claim to have funded a university registered under the imo State government? And what exactly is the source of funding for Rochas Foundation? A dispassionate investigation into these allegations would reveal that Okorocha is the most corrupt politician in the current dispensation. Yet, he remains untouchable. Why should it be so?”
“Without wasting much of your time,we are here to call on the Inspector General of Police to order the immediate arrest of Senator Rochas Okorocha who was caught red handed breaking the law. Except the police are telling us that Okorocha is above the law as he had boasted, he should be taken into custody immediately.”
“Similarly,we are urging the newly appointed chairman of EFCC , Abdulrasheed Bawa to reopen investigations into the myriad of allegations against Okorocha. The people of Imo State are daily weeping, bemoaning their fate in the hands of this tyrant who after whipping them does not want them to cry.”
“We have not lost faith in the ability of the police and EFCC to carry out their jobs effectively. We can also not accuse them of selective application of the law. Two former Governors from the north are serving sentences for corruption. So why is Rochas Okorocha still a free man?. This is the big question begging for answer,” they said.
Others at the press conference,were Kabiru Yusuf Soba,President Arewa youth consultative movement,
,Yahaya Salisu ,president
Hausa youth council worldwide,
Simon Terna president
Tiv youth peace initiative,
Mohammed Salihu Danlami ,
Arewa youth assembly, Aisha MaiKano,
Kungiyar Matan Arewe,Umar Sani Jada,
speaker Fulfulde youth assembly and
Idris Goga,President Northern Anti corruption Ambassadors .