The clash between Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and his predecessor and serving senator, Rochas Okorocha, may have just begun as the state government has listed more than 10 properties corruptly acquired by Okorocha and billed to be recovered.
Top sources within the Imo State Government claimed that Uzodinma had got President Muhammadu Buhari’s nod to go on with the “trial” of Okorocha and the state government had several properties to recover from the embattled senator.
One of the sources said, “Okorocha has a lot of corruption-ridden investments which he has to return to the state government. The government has started with the Eastern Palm University which was built with Imo State money but personalised by Okorocha.
“Others are over N40 billion siphoned through the unexecuted 27 general hospitals projects, the Nekede and Orji Mechanic Villages, the Adapalm in Ohaji which Okorocha said was leased out to investors and left in ruins till date, and the Westbrook Hotels which was built by Okorocha’s son-in-law. We also have the Woddi Wellness Centre owned by Okorocha’s wife, Nkechi, and built on the former Imo State Secretariat Annex.
“There is the multi-billion naira Farmers’ Market built by Geraldine, Okorocha’s sister, on a land belonging to the state. There is also the over 25-plot state land acquired by Okorocha’s in-law upon which El Freeda Foundation was built.”
“There is Extervia Mega Supermarket opposite Civic Centre Estate owned by Okorocha’s sister. There is the municipal Plaza owned by the Okorocha family, built on a land forcefully acquired from a civil servant; Spibat Estate most of whose land was forcefully taken from Mbieri people by Okorocha.
“Then, there is N600 million diverted through the supposed renovation of the Imo State Secretariat. Recovery of the cardboard industry at Owerri-Ebeiri in Orlu; recovery of the N2 billion diverted through the construction of the completely worthless Akachi Tower,” another source added.
Only last week, the state government moved with the seizure of the Royal Palm Estate on Akachi Road, Owerri, sealing the place until further notice.
The police in Imo State had on Sunday arrested and detained Okorocha, for allegedly destroying government and security vehicles and also breaking into a property the government had seized.
The state Commissioner for Lands, Enyinnaya Onuegbu, had on Friday, said the government had recovered the estate, allegedly belonging to the senator’s wife.
He had 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.
Okorocha had on Sunday stormed the estate and warned Uzodinma and security operatives to stay off the property.
Okorocha was later released by the police, saying he was asked to go after an intervention from the Presidency in Abuja.
On Tuesday, the state government moved again to demolish The Reach FM, a media house reportedly owned by Okorocha’s daughter and son-in-law in Owerri, the state capital.