The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has granted bail to former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha.
Okorocha was arrested by the anti graft commission on Wednesday. He spent two nights in the custody of the commission.
His Media Adviser, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, confirmed the release of the Senator who represents Imo West Senatorial District.
In a statement, he said Senator Okorocha “left the Commission’s office on the afternoon of Thursday, April 15, 2021.”
Onwuemeodo said, “With Gratitude to God almighty, we are delighted to inform the general public that, the former governor of lmo state, and by the grace of God, the Senator Representing Imo West senatorial District, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, is out of the office of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC and he is now in his house.
“He left the Commission’s office, on the afternoon of Thursday, April 15, 2021.
“It should be recalled that, we had, in our reaction to his trip to the EFCC office, on the invitation of the Commission assured that, the former Imo State Governor, would fully cooperate with the agents of the Commission, since it was operating within the ambit of the law establishing it.
“And we are happy to inform that, the Distinguished Senator, lived upto that vow or promise. We didn’t bother about whether he spent 24 hours or 48 hours at the Commission’s office.”
He condemned “the growing perspection on the side of some Nigerians, that once any public figure is at the EFCC, either by invitation or by arrest, it is something ominous. That should not be the case.”
Also, the spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujarem also confirmed that Okorocha was granted bail on Thursday and that their investigation will continue.
He, however, could not confirm speculations that the release of the former governor was as a result of intervention by a governor in the South-South or due to the ongoing strike action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) or even on health grounds.
Modestus Nwamkpa, an aide to Governor Hope Uzodinma on print media (local) alleged that immediately Senator Rochas Okorocha was arrested, he cried out to some of his friends across the country for assistance.
“They came and pleaded to the anti graft agency for leniency for him on the grounds of ill health.
“Again, the anti graft Agency reasoned that since the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria ( JUSUN) workers are on strike over their demand for autonomy for the Judiciary and since nobody knows when it will last, it will finitely hinder the arraignment of the ex Governor and ultimately prolong his stay at EFCC custody.
“The Agency felt with that, it may infringe on his foundamental human right since there is a stipulated time that EFCC can constitutionally keep a suspect in their custody.
“So based on these, he was released on self recognition pending when JUSUN calls off their strike and Court resumes. By that time, his arraignment can then take place. So in effect, his release today was circumstantial.”
Reacting to Nwankpa’s press release, Mr. Onwuemeodo wondered when he (Nwankpa) has become the spokesman of EFCC. “The release speaks volume,” he said.