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Group accuses EFCC of shielding former Gov Okorocha on $2m bribery allegation



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A group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of shielding former Governor Anayochukwu Rochas Okorocha of Imo State from investigation and possible prosecution over the $2 million bribery allegation made against the former Imo governor by Ahmed Gulak, All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, that led the committee which conducted the party’s primary election in Imo State to elect the governorship candidate for the 2019 elections.

HURIWA in a statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Director of Media Affairs, Miss Zainab Yusuf,  recalled that the APC Chairman of the Primary Election Committee in Imo State, Ahmed Gulak, alleged that the immediate former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, offered him $2 million bribe to deliver certificate of return to his anointed aspirant, Uche Nwosu. Recall that whilst fielding question from The froup noted that Gulak had in a media interaction said that he rejected the bribe because of his integrity; arguing that it was free money he would have collected without anybody dragging him to court.

The group also observed that the former Imo governor had said that Gulak ought to be in jail for what he did in Imo State. He described the former presidential aide as an enemy of democracy who has repeatedly shown that he lacks character. “We, therefore, ask both the ICPC and EFCC  if Rochas Okorocha is a sacred cow that is bigger than the anti graft laws,” HURIWA declared.

HURIWA wants the EFCC to invite both the person making the allegation and the one being accused to render proper account of what happened so Imo State fund is appropriately accounted for and repaid back to the state coffers.

The group said that the general perception in Imo State and all over the nation is that some politically exposed persons with series of cases of alleged financial crimes, including, the immediate past governor of Imo State, may have secured presidential soft-landing by virtue of their membership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Moreover, the group expressed shock that the Imo State government has not initiated major intervention to compel the security forces to quicken the release of the most senior jurist of Imo State origin, Justice Nwosu-Iheme, of the Benin division of the Court of Appeal, who was kidnapped in Benin a fortnight ago with her orderlies shot and killed.

HURIWA, therefore, charged Governor Emeka Ihedioha to roll out measures that are effective enough to enable the presidency to handle the violent kidnap of Mrs. Nwosu-Iheme of the Court of Appeal as a national emergency in the same way that the federal government handled the kidnap of the wife of the Central Bank of Nigeria previously.

“The silence from the South East of Nigeria, specifically, the failure of the Imo State Government to speak out loud and demand actionable plans on the quickest rescue of one of the most senior igbo judges kidnapped over a week ago does not augur well for the wellbeing of the South East zone of Nigeria,” the groip declared. HURIWA appealed to the kidnappers to release the judge unharmed.