* Says media trial against them unfair
By Steve Oko, Umuahia
A group known as Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) has cautioned those behind the planned protest in Abuja and Umuahia against former Abia Governor, Senator Theodore Orji; and his son cum Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Chinedum Orji not to allow themselves to be used “by anti-democratic forces” to destabilize the state.
According to the group, some “anti -democratic forces have perfected arrangements” to stage protests in Aba, Umuahia, and Abuja on Wednesday against Orji and his son over alleged N525 billion fraud while he was Abia governor.
COSEYL in a release made available to newsmen in Umuahia Tuesday, and signed by its President General , Mr Goodluck lbem; and Secretary General respectively, argued that the allegations against Orji and family “remain mere allegations until proved guilty”.
They release made available to our correspondent read in part :”Our attention has been drawn to a proposed protest on Wednesday 19 February, 2020 by the opposition in Abia State against our distinguished Senator Theodore Orji and his family over a baseless and unfounded allegations by some disgruntled opposition elements who want to take advantage of our gullible youths and women to cause disaffection and destroy the peace and tranquility being enjoyed by Abians and residents of the state.
” It is very unfortunate that some people believe the ‘drugs sold to them’ by some miscreants and haters of Abia to be true and factual. People should learn to think and reason when they read some stories.”
The group further argued that the calls for Orji and his son to resign their positions respectively were unnecessary as they are yet to be prosecuted by EFCC and convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction.
“Former Senate President of the 8th Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki was accused of corruption but when his matter came to court, they took their time to look into the matter and the court discovered that he was falsely accused of all those wrong doings. He was discharged and acquitted.
“It is only the court that has the constitutional rights to try any matter or case. The media is not the court. Senator T. A. Orji and his family are innocent of all these allegations until proven otherwise.”
The release further read : “The petitioners falsely accused him of embezzling all the allocation sent to Abia state. In their petition, they told the EFCC that he never paid salaries, pension and did not perform any government function (s).
“Only misfits will write such a petition. We call on those who have been brain-washed by the group called ‘ Save Nigeria Group’ to immediately jettison the protesters and go about their normal business”.