Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, has told a Federal High Court in Abuja that his present political travails are the handiwork of some national leaders of the All Progressives Party (APC), whose emergence he opposed.
In his fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed before the court, Okorocha specifically accused some leaders of the party and “other political adversaries of instigating the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and related agencies against him and members of his family.
In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/474/19 and FHC/ABJ/CS/475/19, the Imo State governor further accused the said political adversaries of working against the issuance of his certificate of return as winner of the Imo West senatorial seat, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He listed as respondents in the suits are the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Department of State Security (DSS), the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
He prayed the court to restrain all the respondents from further harassing him and members of his immediate family.
But responding to the suit, the DSS, in its counter affidavit filed by G. O. A. Agbadua, faulted Okorocha’s claims and denied planning to arrest either the governor or members of his family.
Okorocha has alleged in the suit 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.
“The respondents, proceeding from this position that the applicant is guilty unless proved innocent, between 2017 and now, have extended not less than 25 invitations to the applicant in purported investigation of projects executed by the Imo State government in a bid to find some material to justify their conclusion that he is guilty of corrupt practices.
“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.
“Sometime in May 2017, the 4th respondent, acting in furtherance of the plan of the applicant’s political enemies, invaded the applicant’s house in Jos, Plateau State and while holding his staff and family members hostage, ransacked the entire house in the hope to find something incriminating against the applicant.
“The matter became a subject of litigation in the Jos division of this honourable court over the validity of the search warrant the 4th respondent relied on for that invasion and although the court found that the search warrant was valid, it also confirmed at page 22 of the judgment, based on the admission of the 4th respondent, that nothing incriminating was found against the applicant.
The DSS, in one of its counter-affidavits, said it was not aware and not part of any plan to arrest and/or detain the applicant (Okorocha) over alleged investigation of the applicant.
“The 3rd respondent (DSS) did not meet with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) concerning the applicant.
“The 3rd respondent has not invited the applicant or any member of his family and/or staff for investigation.
“Where there is a course to commence any investigation whatsoever against any person including the applicant the 3rcl respondent follows legal procedures in conducting investigation.
“The Applicant cannot stop security and law enforcement agencies from conducting investigation.”