Rochas Okorocha, a serving senator and presidential hopeful, was able to appear before the All Progressives Congress (APC) panel screening presidential hopefuls on the party’s platform.
Okorocha appeared before the APC panel on Tuesday night after perfecting his bail conditions.
Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha (born 22 September 1962) is a Nigerian politician of Igbo extraction from Imo State. He is the senator representing Imo West Senatorial district at the 9th Nigerian Senate. He is also the former Governor of Imo State.
On May 24, the senator was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged fraud.
He was arraigned on a 17-count charge of money laundering at a federal high court in Abuja on Monday. The former governor of Imo state pleaded “not guilty”.
Inyang Ekwo, the judge handling the case, granted him bail in the sum of N500 million and a surety in like sum.
Okorocha was able to make the screening exercise a few hours to the end of the panel’s work which was to last for only two days.
Okorocha was a Commissioner on the Federal Character Commission and a Member of the National Constitutional Conference. When democracy was restored in 1999, Rochas Okorocha competed in the primaries to be the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for governor of Imo State but lost to Achike Udenwa. He moved to the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and ran for the party’s presidential nomination but a disappointing result in the primary in 2003 ended his ambition. He returned to the PDP, and President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him as Special Adviser on Inter-Party affairs.
Rochas Okorocha formed the Action Alliance (AA) party in 2005, planning to become a Presidential candidate for the AA in the 2007 elections. He again returned to the PDP, and in September 2007, indicated that he was interested in becoming PDP National Chairman. After Governor Ikedi Ohakim decamped from the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) to the PDP in July 2009, Okorocha denied that Ohakim had taken over the PDP in the state, saying he was named as A leader since he was governor, but a proper PDP congress should be held to decide on policy.
Speaking with journalists after the APC screening, Okorocha said he told the panel that he is in the presidential race because of his love and passion for Nigeria.
“The panel was quite interesting, I was able to explain to the panel I’m in this whole thing because of my love and passion for this nation,” he said.
“I think I understand the problem of this country and find a solution. Seek ye first wealth creation in this nation and every other thing shall be added unto you.
“Let us stop singing the songs of statistics for our inflation rate, it will not stop the unemployment rate. I have come into this business (presidential race) because of my vision, not ambition.”
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