Former Imo governor Rochas Okorocha has been freed, the police said on Monday.
Okorocha was arrested on Sunday after unsealing Spring Palm Estate which has been seized by Governor Hope Uzodimma. The property is linked to Okorocha’s wife, Nkechi.
State police spokesperson Orlando Ikeokwu said Okorocha was released on Sunday night after he was “invited” for “questioning” over the incident which degenerated into violence.
At least two people were killed and many others injured in the chaotic aftermath, eyewitnesses said.
Several vehicles were also vandalised by Okorocha’s and Uzodimma’s thugs, reports said. The former governor was then arrested on Sunday.
But “he was released later at night,” Ikeokwu told Channels TV on Monday morning.
“If anybody is found culpable, definitely, he will be charged to court. If investigation proves that he (Okorocha) has committed an offence, he will be charged to court.”
The police’s stance is a departure from Imo government’s vows to arraign Okorocha in court on Monday.
The former governor had stormed the estate with his supporters, police officers, soldiers and personnel of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Sunday morning and ordered the unsealing of the estate.
Government officials had also mobilised to the estate, leading to a free-for-all, as cars were smashed and many persons injured.
Okorocha had alleged that Uzodimma attacked him with “more than 1,000 thugs” but the state commissioner for information, Declan Emelumba, dismissed Okorocha’s claim.
Emelumba said the former governor’s arrest was in line with the report of a White Paper which indicated that Royal Palm Estate was built with taxpayers’ money and so did not belong to Okorocha’s wife.
The commissioner had vowed that the former governor would be charged to court this morning.