Students and beneficiaries of the Rochas Okorocha Foundation on Monday protested in Owerri, the Imo State capital, over the police arrest of the former governor, who was detained for breaking into the Royal Spring Palm Estate which had been sealed by the state government.
The students carried placards, reading, “Don’t Hurt Our Daddy”, “Dear Daddy Rochas, we love you” and others, as they marched in the state capital.
SaharaReporters learnt that Okorocha, who has been at loggerheads with the present governor, Hope Uzodinma, has a handful of students in his foundation which sponsors their education in the state and a few other states.
The police in Imo State had on Sunday arrested Senator Okorocha, representing Imo West Senatorial District in the National Assembly.
He was arrested and detained for allegedly destroying government and security vehicles and also breaking into a property the government had seized from his wife, Nkechi.
The state Commissioner for Lands, Enyinnaya Onuegbu, had on Friday, said the government had recovered Royal Palm Estate on Akachi Road, Owerri, allegedly belonging to Nkechi.
Onuegbu added that the government had sealed up the place till further notice.
He said the seizure was in compliance with the directive of the Imo State gazette on the report of the Judicial Commission of Enquiry on the recovery of lands and other related matters.
He said, “This is as a result of the recommendation of the commission that all illegal lands and structures acquired by the administrations between 2006 and 2019 should be taken over by the government.”
The commissioner said the current administration was doing everything to recover all the stolen properties of the state, especially those carted away by the previous administration.
Okorocha had on Sunday stormed the estate and warned Uzodinma and security operatives to stay off the property.
“On arrival, he demanded to enter the estate, telling the security personnel guarding the place that there was no court order to back up the sealing of the building,” a source said.
“Hence, he insisted on entering the building, which he eventually did after the locks were broken by his men.
“Gunshots started when two of Uzodinma’s aides, Chinasa Nwaneri, and Eric Uwakwe, arrived at the place with another group of police officers and young men.
“Open confrontation started, leading to sporadic shooting. One of Okorocha’s men got hit by a bullet.”
Okorocha was later released by the police, saying he was asked to go after an intervention from the Presidency in Abuja.
“Governor Hope Uzodinma is going a very wrong direction that he might not end up well with,” he told journalists after his release in Owerri.