A former Governor of Imo State and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, Senator Rochas Okorocha says the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC was constitutionally empowered to investigate any citizen once it receives a petition on the allegation of financial crime against the individual.
Senator Okorocha stated this while interacting with newsmen in Abuja.
Responding to issue relating to the commission’s action to secure a court judgment for the temporary forfeiture of some property in Imo State belonging to his family, Senators Okorocha explained that the commission was only carrying out its mandate, noting that the outcome would determine the true situation of the allegation.
“EFCC has the constitutional power to investigate and no one can stop them from carrying out their function. When the EFCC is investigating, there is an allegation and EFCC does not act on their own, they don’t go out just to find out what is happening with everybody, until people right petition. It is clear that the Imo State government wrote a petition on this matter and the EFCC is investigating. And one of the allegations is that my wife built a hotel using government money and the court said that Rocha’s wife wants to sell the Hotel immediately. So if the EFCC does not confiscate the property they have let it go, that is why they got what is interim forfeiture, it is not a permanent one pending the completion of their investigation that is what is happening in Imo State” according to him.
Senator Okorocha wondered why his property or that of any member of his family would be a matter of contention, haven been a successful businessman before venturing into politics.
“The question I ask is that so far there has not been any property traced to me or any account traced to me, I don’t have any property or any account anywhere outside this country. And I was very careful about that, that political enemy are there everywhere. EFCC is saying now that my wife must proof how she come about the property, but I said this is my wife, this is Rocha’s wife, Rochas before the governor is bigger than Rochas the governor. I don’t know how many properties I can count, I don’t even remember my properties. I have been a successful businessman before this time, but all of a sudden, they have blindfolded people not to remember Rochas that ran a presidential election in 2002. Rochas that ran presidential election three times, Rochas foundation that built school all over the country with two thousand children they have forgotten that it cost me over two billion every year to run Rochas foundation. But having been a report, EFCC has to investigate, but if they investigate and find out that it is not true, let them give her back her property,” he added.
The former Imo state governor maintained that his only worry was that once a personality is subjected to investigation, the perception would be that he is a criminal and therefore advocated a situation where people will face punishment for the wrong accusation.