From Steve Oko, Umuahia
The fraud allegations against former Abia Governor and the senator representing Abia Central Senatorial District, Senator Theodore Orji and his son and Speaker of the Abia House of Assembly, Hon. Chinedum Orji, have been dismissed as politically motivated.
This is the position of South East Coalition for Good Governance, SECGG; and Abia North Integrity Group, ANIG, respectively while reacting to a recent protest in Abuja by some persons calling for the prosecution of the duo.
According to SECGE, the intention of those behind the “humongous and untenable allegations” is to whittle down their political influence ahead of 2023.
It queried the decision of the masterminds of the allegations “to resort to media trial” instead of allowing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate the matter first.
The group in a press release jointly signed by its President , Josiah Madunagu ; and Secretary, Madumere Alexander, expressed dismay that EFCC had not yet “filed any corruption charge against the accused before any court, yet they have been tried and convicted in the media.”
SECGG further argued that in as much as it would not hold brief for the accused, the EFCC should be allowed to first carry out its investigations instead of “resorting to smear campaign against the former Abia First family with an intention to de-market, distract and diminish their popularity ahead of 2023.”
Similarly, ANIG said the ultimate goal of those after Orji and his son was “to disrupt power shift to Abia North in 2023 by first destabilising the Orjis who are stunch supporters of the project.”
In a release by its Spokesman, Kalu Kalu Idika – Agwu, ANIG said sponsors of the allegations as well as the protesters were those bent on denying Abia North its opportunity to produce governor in 2023.
The group further noted that while the former governor ” may not be a saint ” it would be unfair to portray him as a criminal when no court of competent jurisdiction had done so.
“We say this without the slightest equivocation that while we do not claim that he is a saint, we make bold to say that if those before him had made efforts to leave their footprints on the sands of time, Nigeria won’t be where she is today.
“Igbos must stop this mentality of destroying their first eleven, a class to which Sen. Theodore Orji equitably falls into because the Chinese proverb says “do not spit into the well from which you have drunk water because you shall surely thirst again.”
The group expressed doubt over the veracity of the claims in the petition contending that some remarkable achievements posted by the former governor while in office would not have been possible if he had engaged “in such reckless looting” as being portrayed in the petition.