Presidential hopeful and All Progressives Congress chieftain, Rochas Okorocha, says being a governor of Imo State made him poorer.

The ex-governor, who is now a lawmaker representing Imo West Senatorial District at the red chamber, said the state government owes him N8bn security votes.

He spoke on Monday while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ Programme.

Okorocha, who was Imo governor from 2011 to 2019, also described fresh fraud charges against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as being politically motivated.

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It had reported that the anti-graft agency on Monday filed N2.9 billion fraud charges against the former governor at the Federal High Court, Abuja, hours after he formally declared his presidential ambition for 2023 but the presidential hopeful denied the allegation, describing it as “false”.

Speaking on the television programme, Okorocha said, “Those who say I am broke are liars, that is fabricated fallacy. If you talk about Nigerians blessed by God, I’ll raise my hand.

“I was richer before I became governor; in fact, (being a) governor made me poorer. If you go to (the Code of) Conduct Bureau before I became governor, my real estate alone in Abuja, I’m sure you can count one, two people who can count on it.

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“How much is Imo State government money? Imo State is even owing me because I never collected my security votes, I’m supposed to collect from Imo State now N8bn if I have to make claims for security votes that I did not collect.”

Okorocha had been grilled a few times by the anti-graft agency over alleged financial fraud and some of his property and those owned by his family members had been taken over by the government of his successor, Hope Uzodinma, but Okorocha continued to maintain that he is not guilty of any of the allegations as no court of law in the country has declared him guilty.

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