- Akpabio, Kwankwaso, Aliyu on watch list
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arrested the immediate past governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido and former Imo State Governor, Ikedi Ohakim over allegations of money laundering and embezzlement to the tune of N202billion.
The commission quizzed Lamido over his alleged conspiracy with his two sons to defraud the state of the sum N150billion.
Ohakim, who had failed to show up at the commission’s office in Abuja on Wednesday based on invitation sent to him, showed up yesterday where operatives grilled him for several hours over alleged financial misappropriation by his administration.
He was governor of Imo State between 2007 and 2011 and lost his re-election to the incumbent Governor, Rochas Okorocha.
The former governor, it was learnt, answered questions on his alleged corruption, especially his administration’s purported embezzlement of N52billion.
But in a statement he issued yesterday, Ohakim denied media reports that he was evading the EFCC’s invitation.
The former governor said that he had communicated his inability to honour the invitation to the anti-graft agency.
According to him, he got wind of the commission’s invitation while on a medical trip to United Kingdom, adding that as a law-abiding citizen, he has no reason to evade the EFCC’s invitation.
Ohakim recalled that he been interrogated by the commission on the same issue and was let go by the EFCC, adding that he has no skeleton in his cupboard.
On Wednesday, immediate past governor of Ebonyi State, Martin Elechi, was interrogated for the second time by EFCC operatives over allegations of misappropriation of funds by his administration.
Elechi, who left the commission’s office at about 4.30pm on Wednesday, is expected to come back to the office next week.
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed to Nigerian Pilot yesterday that Ohakim and Lamido were with a crack team of operatives to answer questions on their handling of public funds.
Uwujaren added that Elechi was interrogated by operatives, adding that he might be needed for further questioning next week.
The commission’s spokesman explained that Ohakim shed light on issues in an old case being investigated by the anti-graft agency.
He said: “Former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohaki today (yesterday) came and shed light on some issues in an old case we have been investigating. We are about rounding off the investigation and we needed him to clarify some issues, but he didn’t show up on Wednesday.
“Elechi was at our office on Wednesday in continuation of the questioning on some issues we are investigating; he came in the morning and was released later, but we are expecting him again next week,” he said.
The second batch of former governors who will be the guests of the EFCC are former governors of Kano State, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso; Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Theodore Orji (Abia) and Dr. Babangida Aliyu of Niger State.
A senior EFCC official told our correspondent yesterday that their letters of invitation would be despatched to them next week.
All the former governors, except Aliyu and Ohakim are members of the 8th Senate.
As of the time of filing this report, both Ohakim and Lamido were still being held by the EFCC in Abuja.