MEMBERS of the public, especially the youth, have a lot to learn from the daylight drama that played out in the Asokoro, Abuja home of Senator Anayo Rochas Okorocha. On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, after hours of siege to Okorocha’s premises, broke into his house through the roof and snaffled him away.
Okorocha is standing trial for allegedly defrauding Imo State of N2.9 billion during his eight-year tenure as governor. The drama ensued because of Okorocha’s obstinate refusal to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies and the courts in their efforts to try him for the alleged crime.
The EFCC accused him of jumping administrative bail and resisting being served court papers, thus leading to serial postponements of his arraignment at the Federal High Court, Abuja presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo.
Okorocha, on the other hand, claimed that the anti-graft agency was bent on frustrating his presidential ambition. It will be recalled that in January 2022, the EFCC had filed fresh charges against the senator shortly after he announced his decision to run for president. Coincidentally, the siege to his home also occurred on a day he was scheduled to participate in the screening for presidential aspirants of the All Progressive Congress, APC, which was later postponed “indefinitely”.
Without prejudice to the allegations levelled against him, Okorocha’s conduct was unbefitting of a person who had occupied the exalted office of State Governor for eight years and also aspires to be Nigeria’s president. His claim that the EFCC was bent on derailing his presidential ambition was neither here nor there.
The law is no respecter of an accused person’s private fancies. The law cannot function at the pleasure of any citizen of interest, no matter how highly placed the individual imagines himself to be.
Okorocha’s contempt for the law enforcement mechanism of the nation was obvious in the manner he conducted himself when the EFCC arrived his home at around 11.30am. Rather than barricade himself in his house, a person who has nothing on his conscience should have come out to know what they were looking for and voluntarily offered his cooperation.
Instead of doing this, Okorocha resorted to calling in his supporters to stage a protest in an effort to intimidate the EFCC operatives. They had to use tear-gas to disperse the crowd and forcefully gain entry to whisk him away.
Okorocha’s allegation that EFCC was trying to frustrate his political ambition does not hold water. We hope others with cases at EFCC will take a cue from this and comport themselves appropriately. Theatrics won’t help, the law is the law. He needs to clear his name first before aspiring to lead the nation.