|Dr. Orji Kalu|
The attention of eminent business mogul and former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, has been drawn to a statement credited to the trio of Udoka Nnanna, Davidson Kalu and Ezinwa Ukaogo on behalf of NdiAbia League, Abia Youths Consultative Forum and Abia Peoples Congress respectively and published in Thisday of Friday, July 31, 2015 demanding the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to expedite action on the alleged corruption charges against him as contained in a joint petition by the groups to President Buhari.
In a counter statement issued by his media team on Saturday, Kalu described the authors of the said petition as jokers and paid agents of a former governor noting that their requests and claims are baseless, unfounded and not worth considering.
According to the former governor, it is unfortunate that people can be easily manipulated and brainwashed for peanuts to discredit the integrity of others for political, selfish and enviable reasons.
He said, “For the records, the case of alleged corruption charges against my good self while I held sway as Governor of Abia State is at the court of competent jurisdiction and it is unprofessional to discuss the matter until the case is concluded and decided. However, in view of the petition of the so-called non-existent groups and for future reference, I am bold to say that despite the lean resources of Abia state during my tenure as governor , I was able to execute projects that impacted lives meaningfully without stealing a dime from the government coffers while administering the state in good faith.
“My EFCC ordeal came after myself and a few others fought against the third agenda of a former President. In the heat of the campaign against the tenure elongation of the then President, I lost my personal businesses which I had established and were already successful before I became a governor. The licence of Slok Air and Hallmark Bank (which I had substantial interest) and others were withdrawn by the federal government on the orders of the powers that be without following due process or any justification.
These companies which had in their employment thousands of Nigerians and foreigners folded up and many people lost their daily source of livelihood.
”It is disappointing and painful that political and selfish interest of an ungrateful individual has set Abia State backward noting that the past administration in the state spent millions of tax payers’ money on media war against Orji Kalu’s personality and other frivolities.
“I have advocated the auditing and comparison of the books of account of Abia State during my tenure and the last administration of Gov. T. A. Orji to see who really should be in the EFCC net. The last administration has left the God own’s state in a pitiable condition having accumulated huge debts locally and internationally making the state’s debt profile high without any tangible projects to show for the borrowed funds”
Kalu who condemned the action of the faceless names that signed the petition, advised them to request their sponsor to give an account of his stewardship in Abia State and declare where he and his family members got so much wealth to acquire choice properties all over the world, adding that the robust federal government allocations, excess crude oil funds and internally-generated revenue among other state income were converted into personal use.
The business mogul while advising the EFCC not to allow any individual or group interfere in their working procedures advised the sponsor and writers of the petition to stop chasing shadows as he was a successful business entrepreneur before venturing into politics.
Kalu however advised the EFCC to look into a series of petitions against the last administration in Abia State for appropriate actions.