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Okorocha released from Police detention as South East Governors wade into crisis

The Imo State Police Command on Monday said former Governor of the State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, who was on Sunday arrested and kept in the State Criminal Investigations Department, Owerri, has been released.

This is just as the South-East Governors Forum said it has waded into the feud between the Imo government led by Governor Hope Uzodinma and Senator Okorocha.

Spokesperson for the Imo State Police Command, Orlando Ikeokwu, said while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme on Monday morning that Senator Okorocha was released on Sunday night after he was “invited” for “questioning” over the unsealing the Spring Palm Estate linked to his wife, Nkechi.

The Royal Spring Palm Apartment, Owerri was sealed by the Imo State government on February 19.

“He was released later at night,” the PPRO said, adding, “If anybody is found culpable, definitely, he will be charged to court. If investigation proves that he (Okorocha) has committed an offence, he will be charged to court.”

Earlier, Okorocha, along with his supporters, Policemen, soldiers and personnel of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Sunday morning stormed the estate, ordered and supervised its unsealing.

At the same time, Imo State government officials also mobilised to the estate, leading to a free-for-all, as cars were smashed and many persons injured.

The situation was brought under control by the Imo Police Command, which later arrested the Senator.

Senator Okorocha had alleged that his predecessor, Governor Hope Uzodimma, attacked him with “more than 1,000 thugs” but the State Commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba, dismissed Okorocha’s claim, adding that the former Governor’s arrest was in line with the report of a White Paper, which indicated that the Royal Palm Estate in the State was built with taxpayers’ money and not Okorocha wife’s property.

Chairman of the South East Governors Forum, Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Francis Nwaze on Monday said that the forum was already handling the issue.

Umahi said that contacts have already been made to resolve the impasse and assured that both parties have agreed to a truce.

“South-east leaders are capable of settling their disputes internally instead of washing their linen in public.

“We sue for calm among the supporters of both leaders to ensure a timely and amicable resolution of the disagreement,’’ the statement read.

The forum’s chairman urged Imo and south-east citizens to conduct their business peacefully and according to the law.

“They should also shun provocative statements as we work towards restoring normalcy to the situation.’’

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