The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has charged a former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, for conspiring with others including an All Progressives Congress politician and five companies to steal N2.9billion public funds.
According to report, EFCC filed the charges totalling 17 on Monday at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
In addition to Okorocha, other defendants are Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited.
The charges were filed about the same time Okorocha was declaring his intention to run for the office of the president in 2023.
The former governor had on Monday said the country was facing a number of challenges that need to be addressed.
He had said, “I hear people talking about zoning, I’m not a candidate of zoning, I am a candidate of justice. Maybe the South-East has not been able to present their matter very well before the rest of Nigerians.
“I appeal to my party – APC, to allow a level-playing ground. And the South-East must know that power is not given, it is taken. You must reach out to people who you want to vote for you. But let justice reign.”
The lawmaker promised that if elected, he will reunite the country; a challenge, he said, previous leaders had been unable to tackle head on.
In 2020, EFCC said it returned N2.7billion recovered from Okorocha to Imo State Government.
Imam Usman, Zonal Head of the EFCC, Port Harcourt office, said the returned fund was part of the N7.9billion recovered from different bank accounts linked to the ex-governor.
Usman said N2.5billion was returned under the short-lived administration of Emeka Ihedioha while Hope Uzodinma, incumbent governor of the state, received N514million.
The zonal head added that the EFCC would prosecute Okorocha after concluding its investigation on him.
Okorocha and Uzodinma, both of the All Progressives Congress, have been at loggerheads as the governor had accused his predecessor of corruption and personalising state-owned properties.