The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has disclosed the reasons behind its investigation of the Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State.
EFCC disclosed that it’s investigating Okorocha and the state government for a case of money laundering.
The Commission’s zonal head for South East, Usman Imam during a briefing yesterday said the state government used funds meant for workers during the just concluded elections.
Usman stated that the Commission’s operatives blocked accounts belonging to the state government in the build-up to the election, following a tip-off.
According to Usman, EFCC’s timely intervention saved the state over N5bn that would have been deployed for vote buying by the Okorocha’s administration.
He said: “About N7.9bn is what had been blocked, although with pressure, subsequently, about N2.5bn was released for salaries. On the whole, we have over N5bn of those funds blocked; we are following up to see what actually happened.
“Honestly, what we discovered was that within two days, N700m was withdrawn in cash; N200m on the first day and N500m on the second day and all these monies were disbursed in a manner that was honestly unpalatable.
“Distribution to school teachers; I don’t know, schools that you were not funding and you wake up on the eve of the election and withdrew N500m cash and start distributing N1000 each or so to teachers. Whatever that means, I don’t know.
“When we came in, we were able to save about seventy something millions of the funds that we discovered were not disbursed, we also blocked it. People are still answering questions as to who asked them to move those monies, monies that were blocked at the banks.
“The sad story about this was that these monies were the intervention funds; the bailout funds that the Federal Government released to states to pay salaries when they were having problems paying salaries.
“They didn’t utilize that money to pay the salaries; they warehoused it and kept it until the election period, they started attempting to draw down the money. Whatever happens, we have saved over N5bn of that money, as we talk, two weeks to handover. Probably, the next government would have that money to use it better. There are a lot of other general investigations going on in Imo right now.”