BY CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI—Operatives of anti-graft organisation, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, stormed Owerri on Tuesday and reportedly arrested the immediate past commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Mr. Jerry Okolie.
Vanguard gathered that while two directors of account and general services and treasurers of two local councils are said to be cooling their heels in EFCC net, some other members of the sacked Imo State executive council have since scampered into safety to avoid being picked up by the stern looking anti-graft personnel.
A senior staff in Imo State civil service, who pleaded anonymity, told Vanguard that EFCC operatives had severally been visiting the state to probe reports of alleged fraud perpetrated by the state government.
The source said: “In this instance, the EFCC operatives stormed the Commissioners’ Quarters, situated along Concorde Avenue, Owerri, on Tuesday and arrested the former Commissioner for Lola Government Affairs, Mr. Jerry Okolie”.
He said some other ex-commissioners still staying in the quarters since they were sacked by the governor, quickly fled into safety.
The source added: “The EFCC operatives truly encountered stiff resistance from security personnel at the premises but were eventually allowed to carry out their assignment when they properly identified themselves and their mission.”
Another staff of the Ministry of Local Government Affairs who spoke on anonymity, explained that the former commissioner’s arrest might be connected with petitions sent to EFCC on the alleged embezzlement of local council funds in the state.
When Vanguard visited some council headquarters yesterday most treasurers and directors of administration and general services were said to “have gone to Owerri for official assignments”.
It would be recalled that some of the aides of Governor Rochas Okorocha, who have been constant visitors to EFCC Headquarters, Abuja, includes the former Commissioner for Finance, Deacon Chike Okafor, and state Accountant-General, Mr. George Eche.