Okorocha attacks Uzodimma as ex-gov, aides arrested over sealed estate

Published February 22, 2021

Chukwudi Akasike and Chidiebube Okeoma
SOME operatives of the Imo State Police Command, Owerri , have arrested a former governor of the state , Rochas Okorocha .
Also arrested were Ijeoma Igboanusi and Lasbrey Okafor- Anyanwu.
While Igboanusi was the deputy chief of staff ( Domestics) , Okafor – Anyanwu was the commissioner for Transportation when Okorocha, who is the current lawmaker representing Imo West ( Orlu Senatorial Zone ) , held sway as the state governor.
This was as the former governor claimed that the incumbent Imo State Governor , Hope Uzodimma , attacked him ( Okorocha ) with 1 , 000 thugs.

The ex -governor had stormed the estate with his supporters , policemen , soldiers and personnel of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Sunday morning and ordered the unsealing of the estate .
Government officials had mobilised to the estate , leading to a free -for- all , as cars were smashed and many persons injured .
A police source, who confided in our correspondent, said that the former governor had been arrested .
The source said, “ Rochas Okorocha has been arrested . He is here with us at the state CID . Two of his political associates are also with us. We will record him any moment from now . They are currently meeting with the CP .”
Uzodimma attacked me with 1 , 000 thugs , says Okorocha
Meanwhile, Okorocha on Sunday alleged that Governor Uzodimma attacked him with “ more than 1 ,000 thugs. ”

Okorocha , who spoke through his Spokesperson , Sam Onwuemeodo , in a statement on Sunday , alleged that the governor ’s Special Adviser on Special Duties , Chinasa Nwanari , allegedly led thugs, who stormed the estate and destroyed vehicles in his convoy .
The statement read, “ More than 1 ,000 thugs, armed to teeth with knives and guns and led by Chinasa Nwaneri , Governor Hope Uzodinma’s Special Adviser on Special Duties today, Sunday , with the backing of armed policemen from Government House , attacked the former governor of the state and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District , Senator Rochas Okorocha ’s convoy .
“ They attacked and damaged all the vehicles in his convoy . They also attacked his personal aides . Senator Okorocha was with only his personal aides when the thugs unleashed the attack .

We didn’ t attack Okorocha – Imo govt
Responding , the state Commissioner for Information , Mr . Declan Emelumba , dismissed Okorocha ’s claim , adding that the former governor ’s arrest was in line with the report of a White Paper , which indicated that the Royal Palm Estate in the state was built with taxpayers ’ money and not Okorocha wife ’s property .

Explaining that Okorocha would be charged to court on Monday , Emelumba said, “ There was a judicial panel of inquiry that looked into land use and related matters set up by the Emeka Ihedioha administration , which we inherited and retained . They came up with a report and government accepted it , and then turned it to a White Paper .
“ Part of the White Paper ’s report indicates that the Royal Palm Estate was built with taxpayers ’ money , but Okorocha claims it is his wife ’s own . However, the report says it was built with government money .
“ The facility even violated Owerri master plan as well . Two days ago , the state government went and sealed the place in accordance with the White Paper . Then today, Okorocha , on his own , led thugs and carried hammer to unseal what government sealed off in line with the dictates of the law .
“ He ( Okorocha ) was there , saying he is daring Governor Uzodinma to come and stop him if he ( Uzodinma) has courage. This is lawlessness . So, police went there and caught him in the act and arrested him and some of his aides who arrested him . He ( Okorocha ) would be taken to court tomorrow.”
On the allegation that Uzodimma attacked the ex -governor with over 1 ,000 thugs , Emelumba described the claim as lies.

“ If 1 , 000 thugs attacked him , would he be alive now ? What then would be the business of the police if 1 ,000 thugs attacked and took him ( Okorocha ) away , ” Emelumba queried.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the state Police Command, Mr . Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the arrest of Okorocha .
Asked if the former governor would be arraigned, Ikeokwu said, “ Nobody is above the law . If he is found culpable , we will arraign him at the conclusion of the investigation .”

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