Gerald Irona, the former Deputy Governor of Imo State, has disputed rumors that he was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The leader of the Peoples Democratic Party said the news was “completely untrue” and included “no iota of truth,” adding that he was relaxing in his home.
This was revealed in a statement sent by Irona’s Communications Adviser, Walter Duru, which was received by SaharaReporters on Friday.
Irona was arrested by EFCC officials in connection with corruption accusations at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja on Thursday, according to reports.
The statement reads, “Our attention has been drawn to a malicious report on some online media platforms alleging that immediate past Deputy Governor of Imo State, Engr. Gerald Irona was arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission-EFCC.
“The report claimed that the former Deputy Governor was “intercepted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and taken to the EFCC headquarters for interrogation.”
“The writer further alleged that the former Deputy Governor was involved in the collection of N400m monthly from the account of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission-ISOPADEC, during the administration of Chief Emeka Ihedioha; adding that the former Deputy Governor was also under investigation for allegedly mismanaging N5b counterpart funds for the Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP). The report added that the former Deputy Governor did not return his passport to the EFCC after using it last year.
“Ordinarily, one would not have bothered responding to the mindless falsehood, but to put the records straight, we respond thus:
“The report is false in its entirety and has no iota of truth in it. Former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Hon. (Engr) Gerald Irona has no case with the EFCC.
“The fact that the writer neither contacted the EFCC Spokesman nor the Spokesman of the former Deputy Governor for confirmation clearly shows the intention of the sponsors of the false report.”
In the statement, Irona declared that such reports were fabricated to tarnish the image of the Imo politician, adding that the public should reject it.
He also disclosed there was ongoing legal consultation with his legal representatives on the falsehood of the news to guide what his next action would be.
“For the avoidance of doubt, immediate past Deputy Governor of Imo State, Hon. (Engr.) Gerald Irona was neither invited nor arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission-EFCC or any other Law Enforcement Agency in Nigeria.
“The former Deputy Governor, Engr. Irona is not under any form of investigation whatsoever. He is relaxing in his residence and is not arrested, invited or wanted by any law enforcement agency or any authority whatsoever, within and/or outside Nigeria,” the statement added.