EFCC Secures Forfeiture Of Hospital Linked To Okorocha’s Aide In Owerri

SAN FRANCISCO, December 06, (THEWILL) – A day after former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, was convicted
and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for a N7.65bn fraud by a Federal
High Court in Lagos, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC
secured another victory in its campaign against grand corruption in
public service as Justice T.G Ringin of a Federal High Court sitting in
Owerri, today December 6, ordered the final forfeiture of Dews of Hope
Hospital, a N1.5 Billion state-of-the-art 200-bed hospital, allegedly
owned by an aide to a former governor of Imo State and serving senator,
Rochas Anayo Okorocha.

The Commission had on August 22, 2019 secured the interim forfeiture of
the property from a vacation Judge, Justice A. T Mohammed of Federal
High Court, Port Harcourt. The application for interim forfeiture was
triggered by evidence that the facility may have been acquired through
proceeds of illicit activities, as funds from Government House, Owerri
were traced to the hospital.

The Commission’s investigation revealed that Dr. Paschal Obi, former
Permanent Secretary and Principal Secretary to then Governor Okorocha,
now a serving member of the House of Representatives, was a signatory to
the accounts.

However, Obi, like members of the board of the hospital, vehemently
denied ownership of the medical facility.

The managing director of the hospital on invitation, could not also
explain how the hospital was funded.

These developments led the Commission to file for the forefeiture of the
property on July 25, 2019 under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud,and
Other Related Offences Act 2006.

In granting the request for the interim forfeiture of the property, the
court ordered the anti-graft agency to publish the Order in a national
newspaper, which was accordingly complied with in the Nation Newspaper
of August 30, 2019 and Leadership Newspaper of September 3,2019
respectively, asking interested parties to show cause why the property
should not be forfeited to the federal government within fourteen days
from the dates of the publications.

Upon the expiration of the fourteen day notice and with no one showing
interest in the hospital, the Commission filed for the final forfeiture
of the facility.

The hospital located at the heart of Owerri metropolis, had an
adjourning staff and doctor’s quarters.