Reprieve came for former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha on Thursday. He was granted an administrative bail by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Okorocha, who is being investigated for alleged mismanagement of N7. 9 billion funds, was mobilizing last night to meet the bail terms, including two sureties with landed properties in Abuja.
His movement may however, be restricted to the country as he has been told report intermittently for more questioning.
A source said the Imo West senator might be arraigned for trial very soon.
According to the source, who spoke in confidence, the EFCC offered Okorocha bail to grant him access to documents and other materials that can support his defence.
It was also learnt that since the issues against the former governor attract bail, the EFCC decided to uphold his fundamental right to it.
The source said: “So far, Okorocha has been granted bail to enable him come with relevant information and evidence to clarify questions isolated for him.
“He is expected to be reporting intermittently to EFCC as part of the ongoing investigation of alleged mismanagement of funds while in office.
“He is also expected to remain in the country during investigation except otherwise necessary with the knowledge of the EFCC.”
As at 6.30pm, Okorocha was trying to meet the bail conditions.
Responding to a question, the source said: “Okorocha may be arraigned for trial as soon as the ongoing investigation is completed.”
The granting of bail ended Okorocha’s 72-hour stay in EFCC’s custody.
The former governor has been on the EFCC radar in the last three years for alleged money laundering of N7.9 billion.
He will also be asked questions on the N1.5 billion hospital built with funds from the Imo State accounts and traced to one of his former aides.
On July 25, 2019, EFCC invoked Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 to seize the hospital which the ex-aide disowned.
A statement by his media aide Sam Onwuemeodo, the former editor said the EFCC interrogation accorded him the opportunity to address the allegations contained in the petitions written by the lmo State government against him.
The statement reads: “And we are happy to inform that, the Distinguished Senator, lived up to that vow or promise. We didn’t bother about whether he spent 24 hours or 48 hours at the Commission’s office. We were only keen in his having the needed opportunity to address the allegations contained in the avalanche of petitions written by the lmo State Government, against the former governor.
“Remember also that, we had alluded that, EFCC was not a slaughter house, but a responsible institution, established for the good of the nation and her people. And Okorocha being in his house today, only confirmed our hypothesis that, indeed, the commission’s office is not an abattoir.”