CLAIM: Security operatives uncover Okorocha’s strong room where the Imo ex-governor hid N800 billion looted funds, a WhatsApp message in circulation claims.
FALSE: The circulated image predates any raid on Okorocha’s properties by security agents.
On August 29th, a WhatsApp message in circulation claimed the ex-governor of Imo state- Rochas Okorocha had N800 billion in his possession. The claim which was also found on this blog also stated that the funds were located by security operatives. The blog referenced a twitter post as its source; said tweet has since been taken down.
Image analysis revealed that the circulated image is not recent. Said image was first posted on Efe Dolor J’s Blog and Hope for Nigeria Online on Thursday, March 12, 2015. Efe Dolor J’s Blog captioned its post: “Cash found in Tinubu’s house waiting to be disbursed on 28th March 2015 presidential election in Lagos State.” Hope for Nigeria Online also captioned hers “Tinubu’s cash store room busted.” Efe Dolor J’s Blog alleged that Lagos Yoruba youths have vowed to collect money from him (Tinubu) and still vote for ex-President Goodluck Jonathan popularly called GEJ and Jimi Agbaje.
On Thursday, July 21, 2016, Naijaloaded posted the same image with the caption: “Photos: Ever seen what almost half a billion Naira looks like? Look at it here.” The post is a snippet from a tweet posted a day before.
A fourth post of the same image on the internet was on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, on FINTECH Africa. The author of the post captioned it, “Top 10 Reasons Cash is still King in Nigeria.” The author explained that despite the Central Bank of Nigeria cashless policy, raw cash still remains king in Nigeria.
A Facebook post of the same image no longer exists.
Rochas Okorocha and EFCC’s Raid
This claim we believe is reminiscent of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) raid on the ex-governor’s properties. We recall how some reports alleged the harassment of residents at the Rochas Okorocha Foundation in Owerri; in the same raid. On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, EFCC attempted to set the record straight in a statement which accompanied this tweet. The spokesperson of the Commission- Tony Orilade confirmed that some properties belonging to the ex-Imo governor were marked by its operatives. However, no one was harassed during the operation.
The claim is FALSE. This is because the circulated image predates any raid on Okorocha’s properties by security agents.