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EFCC Charges Okorocha With N2.9b Fraud, Hours After Declaring For 2023 Presidency

EFCC has filed a 17-count charge of fraud against Rochas Okorocha.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed N2.9 billion fraud charges against former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha.

EFCC Charges Okorocha With N2.9b Fraud, Hours After Declaring For 2023 Presidency

The development comes barely a few hours after Okorocha officially declared his intention to contest for the presidency in the 2023 general election.

KanyiDaily recalls that the former governor had promised to declare free education and address the problem of hunger in the country if elected as president in 2023.

Okorocha said he is seeking to establish a “new Nigeria” where issues of education, poverty, hunger, insecurity, and other challenges will be addressed.

He added, “this nation is in dire need of someone that can create wealth, someone who can make money for this country. I will create wealth, I sold oranges – my wealth is clean, go and check my CCB [forms].”

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EFCC Files Fraud Charges Against Okorocha

Just a few hours after his speech, EFCC charged him with allegations he conspired with others, including an APC politician and five companies, to steal N2.9 billion from public coffers.

The EFCC filed 17-count charges on Monday before a federal high court in Abuja.

In addition to Mr 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.

Mr Nyerere features in all the 17 charges and is accused of conspiring with Mr Okorocha to steal and launder N2.9 billion belonging to Imo State and local government areas in the state in contravention of the Money Laundering Act 2011.

As CAC searches showed, he owns or controls three of the charged companies, namely Consolid, Pramif, and Legend World, all registered in Abuja.

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According to the EFCC charges, the stolen funds were diverted between October 2014 and February 2016 from the Imo State Government House account and Imo State Joint Local Government Project account.

Timeline of the alleged diversions

1. February 11, 2014: N67,500,000 – conspiracy between Mr Okorocha, Mr Nyerere, and Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited
2. August 28, 2014: N486,000,000 – conspiracy between Mr Okorocha, Mr Nyerere, and Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited
3. October 14, 2014: N900,000,000 – conspiracy between Mr Okorocha, Mr Nyerere, and Naphtali International Limited
4. August 4, 2015: N279,000,000 – conspiracy between Mr Okorocha, Mr Nyerere, and Naphtali International Limited
5. February 10, 2016: N243,000,000 – conspiracy between Mr Okorocha, Mr Nyerere, and Consolid Projects Consulting Limited
6. February 10, 2016: N200,000,000 – conspiracy between Mr Okorocha, Mr Nyerere, and Consolid Projects Consulting Limited
7. February 10, 2016: N243,000,000 – conspiracy between Mr Okorocha, Mr Nyerere, and Pramif International Limited
8. February 11, 2016: N243,000,000 – conspiracy between Mr Okorocha, Mr Nyerere, and Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited
9. February 12, 2016: 243,000,000 – conspiracy between Mr Okorocha, Mr Nyerere, and Legend World Concepts Limited.

Meanwhile, as searches showed, Mr Nyerere remains a director of Consolid, Pramif, and Legend World even as he holds a public office, potentially breaching Nigeria’s code of conduct laws.

KanyiDaily recalls that in April 2021, the EFCC arrested Okorocha and he was grilled for two days over alleged N7.9 billion fraud perpetrated when he served as Imo state governor.

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