BY RALPH EJIMKONYE
Mr. Modestus Nwankpa, Senior Special Assistant on Print Media to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, has narrated how a serving South South Governor, a Northern Emir, and a former Senator, stood as sureties for former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, before he was released by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Okorocah was arrested by operatives of the commission in Abuja on Tuesday. He was released on Thursday after spending two nights in the custody of the anti graft commission.
Mr Nwankpa in a statement claimed that the former Governor, now Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, promised the commission that “he will comport himself before his prosecution begins
He wrote “The ex Governor on his own made a promise to comport himself honourable pending when his prosecution begins. He made pleadings and gave assurances not to misbehave with the time being. So, I felt like informing you about this. They extracted that commitment from him before a serving Governor from the South South, a Northern Emir and a former Senator from the North who stood in as sureties
Mr Nwankpa claimed that Okorocha cried out to some of his friends immediately he was arrested by the anti graft commission.”
“In the case of Okorocha, immediately he was arrested, he cried out to some of his friends across the country for assistance. They came and pleaded to the anti graft agency for leniency for him on the grounds of ill health. The said the ex Governor is on drugs. Again, the anti graft Agency reasoned that since the Judiciary staff Union of Nigeria ( JUSUN) workers are on strike over their demand for autonomy for the Judiciary and since nobody knows when it will last, it will finitely hinder the arraignment of the ex Governor and ultimately prolong his stay at EFCC custody. The Agency felt with that, it may infringe on his fundamental human right since there is a stipulated time that EFCC can constitutionally keep a suspect in their custody.
“So based on these, he was released on self recognition pending when JUSUN calls off their strike and Court resumes. By that time, his arraignment can then take place. So in effect, his release today was circumstantial.