Operatives of the EFCC have arrested the former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, after over six hours of a siege at his house.
He was arrested on Tuesday evening at about 6:30 p.m. at his residence in the Maitama area of Abuja.
He was arrested minutes after security operatives fired teargas to disperse protesters who did not want the ex-governor arrested.
Dozens of protesters had stormed Rochas Okorocha’s Abuja home to protest the security siege of the former governor’s house.
The siege on Mr Okorocha’s house started at about 11:30 a.m. when dozens of security operatives arrived at the Abuja residence.
During the siege, Mr Okorocha addressed some journalists inside the house and alleged that the EFCC was trying to frustrate his presidential ambition. He specifically accused the anti-graft agency of preventing him from attending the screening of APC presidential aspirants in Abuja.
The screening had been scheduled to hold on Tuesday but was later postponed indefinitely. Mr Okorocha is one of 25 APC presidential aspirants seeking the party’s ticket.
Meanwhile, the EFCC, in a statement by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, stated that the siege was to arrest Mr Okorocha.
It said Mr Okorocha had jumped an administrative bail and resisted being served court papers for his corruption trial.
Mr Okorocha, a serving senator, is being tried for allegedly stealing public funds while he was Imo governor.“EFCC had on January 24, 2022, filed a 17-count criminal charge bordering on diversion of public funds and properties to the tune of N2.9billion against Okorocha,” Mr Uwujaren wrote in the statement.
“The case was assigned to Honourable Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja but attempts to arraign Senator Okorocha were twice stalled owing to the absence of the ex-governor who evaded service of processes.
“At the last adjourned date, March 28th, 2022, Justice Ekwo before adjourning until May 30th, 2022, had warned that it was “the last adjournment I shall grant in this matter”.
“In the circumstances, the Commission is left with no option than to effect the arrest of Senator Okorocha and bring him to trial.”