Security operatives Tuesday evening fired teargas to disperse protesters at the residence of the embattled ex-Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha.
The protesters, mainly women, arrived at the besieged Abuja residence of the politician at about 5:20 p.m. to protest the siege on the house by security operatives.
The operatives were acting on the behest of the anti-graft agency, EFCC, which has said it is there to arrest Mr Okorocha because he jumped bail and has avoided court summons.
Before the security operatives dispersed the protesters, one of them carried a bell and chanted slogans in support of the former governor.
“We no go gree. Rochas is a father of the fatherless. He has built schools in Jos and across the nation. He is our incoming president,” she said.
Although the protest was peaceful, the security officers fired teargas to disperse them.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the security operatives stormed Mr Okorocha’s residence in the Maitama area of Abuja to arrest him. They arrived at about 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
Mr Okorocha, a serving senator, is being investigated by the anti-graft agency for allegedly stealing public funds while in office. He is currently a presidential hopeful on the platform of Nigeria’s ruling party, APC.
In reaction to the siege, Mr Okorocha stated that the invasion of his residence was to prevent him from attending the APC presidential screening on Tuesday.
ALSO READ: Why we invaded Okorocha’s house – EFCC
The EFCC, in a statement by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, however, said the siege was because Mr Okorocha jumped bail and was evading court summons.
Read Mr Uwujaren’s full statement below.
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today May 24, 2022, arrived at the Maitama, Abuja home of a former governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha, to effect his arrest.
The move followed the refusal of the former governor to honour invitations after jumping the administrative bail earlier granted him by the Commission.
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.
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.
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