Another South East Ex-Governor May Face Jail Term On Charges Of Fraud
The ex-Governor of Abia State, Senator Theodore Orji, was interrogated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The case which started in 2018 may be revisited, in the ongoing cleansing of corrupt politicians by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Theodore Ahamefule Orji, was elected governor of Abia State, on May 29, 2007 and got re-elected on April 26, 2011, which ended in 2015. He was formerly a career civil servant, and served as the Chief of Staff to former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, who has just been handed 12 years in prison over fraud allegation of N7.6 billion while in office.
Orji, who represents Abia-Central senatorial district at the National Assembly, was invited over allegations that he mismanaged about N27bn.
The invitation, it was learnt, was sequel to a series of petitions written against the former governor shortly after he left office in 2015.
The EFCC was said to have commenced investigation soon after, but was waiting for enough evidence before inviting him.
Among the allegations levelled against the former governor was that he diverted billions of naira disbursed to Abia State by the Central Bank of Nigeria for Small and Medium Enterprise.
The lawmaker was also alleged to have diverted money from the Ecological Fund account, which should have been used in tackling erosion and other disasters peculiar to the state.
The ex-governor allegedly diverted money from the Abia State Oil Producing Development Area Commission, an agency of government set up for the development of the oil producing areas in Abia State
Orji allegedly used the funds to buy properties in Abia, Port Harcourt and Abuja, some of which the EFCC is planning to seize.
It was learnt that officials from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Central Bank of Nigeria, commercial banks and other agencies had been invited by the EFCC to make statements on the governor’s case.