Embattled former Imo State governor and Senator representing Imo West senatorial district in the National Assembly, Anayo Rochas Okorocha, and his wife, Nkechi, have been released from police custody. A credible source informed TELL that the Okorochas were released around 2 am on Monday. They were arrested on Sunday along with some of their former and current aides for alleged forceful repossession of a seized property, the Royal Spring Palm Estate belonging to the former first lady.
However, in a new development, the police on Monday morning arraigned at a magistrate court, about 10 of the former governor’s associates who were allegedly involved in the violent recovery of the contentious property, which was sealed up last Friday by the state government.
Orlando Ikeokwu, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Imo State Police Command, who confirmed Okorocha’s arrest on Sunday in an interaction with journalists, gave the names of others being detained as: Lasbery Okoroafoanyanwu, his former commissioner for transport; Ijeoma Igboanusu, his former Chief of Staff, Domestics Affairs; and Steve Asimobi, his current aide at the National Assembly. Okorocha had led them and other supporters to the sprawling estate to unseal it.
The situation however degenerated to fracas when government officials also mobilised to the premises leading to a violent clash in the course of which some persons were injured and cars were damaged.
According to Orlando, “The command received a distress call regarding what we termed to be unrest at the Royal Spring Palm Estate, and the operatives moved to the place. We discovered Okorocha led some persons to the place hitherto sealed by the Imo government.
“The command calmed the situation and invited Okorocha to come and explain why he led the violent breaking into the estate that led to damages.”
Curiously however, Okorocha was not amongst those arraigned on Monday contrary to the position of the state Commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba, that he would be arraigned today. The PPRO, who had earlier told journalists that the senator might be arraigned “if found culpable”, because according to him “nobody was above the law” however confirmed to the magazine in a telephone interview Monday afternoon, that “He has not been arraigned yet, but he will be arraigned”. Asked how soon that would be, Ikeokwu said “I don’t know yet”.
The magazine gathered that the arraigned suspects, including Uche Nwosu, Okorocha’s son-in-law, and about eight of the embattled ex–governor’s accomplices, were charged with breach of the peace, and inciting violence. They were granted bail in the sum of five million naira each and a surety who must be a traditional ruler.
But reacting to his principal’s ordeal, Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha’s media aide, accused Governor Hope Uzodimma’s special adviser on special duties, Chinasa Nwaneri of having attacked Okorocha with armed thugs.
In a statement on Sunday, Onwuemeodo said the thugs who allegedly had the backing of security men from government house, also attacked Okorocha’s convoy.
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