Just before 7.00 p.m, a combined team of operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Police effected the arrest of immediate past Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, after a six- hour stand-off.
Efforts by protesters to stop the arrest of the Imo West senator was thwarted and he was taken as fears were raised he may miss the screening of presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The scrèning, which began on Tuesday, the day of the arrest drama, ends on Wednesday, barring last minute changes.
EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, explained why the commission appeared somewhat desperate to pick the Senator.
His words in a statement: “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.”
Operatives and policemen laid a siege on the Maitama District residence of Okorocha on Tuesday in Abuja.
They broke the entrance doors into the home and fired shots and teargas cannisters to disperse protesters present at the residence before he was finally arrested.
Okorocha earlier declined to be taken away by the operatives, insisting that he will not submit himself without sighting an arrest warrant.
Meanwhile, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday, approved a revised Timetable/Schedule of Activities for the Governorship, State House of Assembly, Senate and House of Representatives Primary Elections as follows:
▪︎Thursday, 26th of May, 2022
Governorship – (State Delegates)
State House of Assembly – (LGA Delegates)
▪︎Friday, 27th of May, 2022
House of Representatives – (LGA Delegates)
▪︎Saturday, 28th of May, 2022
Senate – (LGA Delegates)
In a statement, APC spokesman, Barr. Felix Morka disclosed that the Special Convention for the Presidential Primary will be held as scheduled on Sunday, 29th – Monday, 30th of May, 2022.