APC leaders behind my ordeal, Okorocha alleges

...Fingers Oshiomhole, others ...Seeks court's intervention as DSS distances self from allegations

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has attributed his current political travails to some national leaders of the All Progressives Party (APC), whom, he objected to their emergence.

Okorocha accused the said national leaders of the APC and other political adversaries of instigating the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and related agencies against him and members of his family.

He also blamed the said political adversaries for why the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to issue him with a certificate of return after being declared the winner of the last election in lmo West Senatorial District.

Okorocha raised these allegations in two fundamental human rights suit he filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/474/19 and FHC/ABJ/CS/475/19, where-in he listed the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the State Security Service (SSS) the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) as respondents.

Of all the respondents, it is only the SSS that has responded by filing counter-affidavits, as at Tuesday when the cases were mentioned.

In the counter affidavits, filed by G. O. A. Agbadua, the SSS faulted Okorocha’s claims and denied planning to arrest either the governor or members of his family.

Okorocha, in his stated that he, “has found himself in a politically adversarial position to some powerful members of the APC over the choice of the national officers of the party before and since the convention of the party was conducted to elect new national officers of the APC.

“The applicant had supported a candidate for the position of National Chairman of the APC other than the current incumbent, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole and by reason of various events that occurred at the time including the detention of Mr. Adams Oshiomhole by the EFCC on allegations of corruption, it was assumed that the applicant was a party to that incident.

“Some of the supporters of Adams Oshiomhole at the time are currently very influential in the Federal Government of Nigeria, which is controlled by the APC.

“These individuals including the said current National Chairman have decided to carry out a vendetta and revenge against the applicant including instigating the respondents against the applicant upon their spurious conclusion without evidence that the applicant is guilty of corrupt practices as Governor of Imo State.

“This witch hunt, is clearly politically motivated, baseless, and has been designed only to discredit and humiliate the applicant in a bid to decimate him politically.

“Upon the conclusion of the senatorial election held on the February 23rd 2019 into the national assembly, the applicant was duly elected as senator to represent Imo West Senatorial District by the majority of lawful votes cast in the election.

“The applicant’s political adversaries within the APC were embittered by the applicant’s victory at the polls and have sworn to ensure that the applicant is either not sworn in as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or is removed for not fulfilling the constitutional minimum attendance requirements.

“In this regard, they instigated INEC to withhold the applicant’s certificate of return on the unfounded allegation that the Returning Officer was coerced to declare the applicant the winner of the election.

“Not satisfied with the withholding of the applicant’s certificate of return, those powerful forces with the APC have commenced fresh spate of attacks against the applicant on the baseless allegation that he embezzled the funds belonging to Imo state government in order to ensure that the applicant is politically decimated.

“The plan has now reached a crescendo and desperation in view of the failure of the respondents to find anything incriminating against the applicant and the decision now taken is to arrest and detain the applicant as soon as he hands over power to the newly elected governor of Imo state on the 29tln of May 2019 and using the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, detain him indefinitely, to have him removed from his seat as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to which he was recently elected.

“The applicant has not committed any offence to warrant the incessant threats of arrest, detention, the harassment and terror being unleashed upon him and his family”, he said.

“Unless this honourable court intervenes to enforce and/or secure the enforcement of the applicant’s fundamental rights to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and to freedom of movement and liberty by making the orders sought in this application, the 1st to 6th respondents will be used by the applicant’s political adversaries for the purpose of their infringement as stated above.

The SSS, in one of its counter-affidavits, said it is not aware and not part of any plan to arrest and/or detain the applicant (Okorocha) over alleged investigation of the applicant.

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