The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied a purported statement credited to the governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha that the Commission blocked the Imo State Account.
The outgoing Governor Rochas Okorocha was alleged to have made the allegation during the visit of Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo to commission some projects in the State. He was reported to have said that the EFCC had for the past three months blocked the Imo State account.
In a statement released on Friday, the EFCC refuted the report, saying:
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is pertinent to let Nigerians know exactly what has happened, so as to make an informed judgement.
On the eve of the rescheduled March 9, 2019, gubernatorial election in the state, the Commission got intelligence that part of the Paris Club refund to the state was about to be used for the purpose of vote buying and other sundry fraud.
Arising from the development, the Commission swung into action and succeeded in blocking the withdrawal of the said funds, as well as trace the usage of N500,000,000 (Five Hundred Million Naira) which had been withdrawn in cash, out of which N77,000,000 (Seventy-Seven Million Naira) was recovered.
Thereafter, in the process of securing these funds, a freezing order was sought and obtained from a court of competent jurisdiction. So far, an investigation is still ongoing with regards to the destinations of those funds.” the statement said.
Stating further commission said:
“We wish, therefore, to state categorically for the record, that the EFCC did not and has not blocked the Federal Account Allocation Committee Account (FAAC) nor the Joint Local Government Account (JAAC) which form the bulk of the state’s statutory allocation and expenditure, hence the Commission could not have “closed down activities of the state” as was alleged in the said statement by the governor.
Nigerians are by this advised not to be distracted from focusing on the substance of any issue in making the rightful decision on matters regarding corruption, their commonwealth and the well-being of the nation generally“.