Posted by By Tobi Soniyi, Abuja on
Four members of the House of Representatives from Abia State, on Monday, dragged the state Governor, Chief Orji Kalu....
Four members of the House of Representatives from Abia State, on Monday, dragged the state Governor, Chief Orji Kalu, his mother, Eunice, and two of his aides to court.
They asked for an order directing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate the governor and his mother for alleged misappropriation of N53billion belonging to the state.
In the originating summons filed at a Federal High Court in Abuja, in which the EFCC is also a defendant, the lawmakers, representing various constituencies in Abia State, said they filed the suit following an intense pressure from their constituencies over the alleged corrupt practices in the state.
They based their suit on the May 15, 2006 lead story of Tell magazine entitled, ”Kalu, the story of a rogue governor”.
According to the legislators, the magazine gave a graphic detail of the various sordid acts of corruption allegedly perpetrated by Kalu, his mother and his aides.
The aggrieved federal legislators who filed the case are: Messrs Chinonyerem Macebuh; Mba Ajah, Damian Ozurumba and Emeka Atuma.
Apart from Kalu and his mother, the two aides of the governor who were also dragged to court are: Theodore Orji and Chukwura Odom.
The lawmakers are asking the court to direct the EFCC to investigate the criminal allegations contained on pages 18-24 of the magazine.
They also the asked the court to compel the EFCC to make its findings public, and to prosecute any of the defendants found to have committed corrupt acts.
A seven-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by one Gift David, states, ”Sometime in May 2006, Tell weekly magazine published in May 15,2006 edition a lead story titled, ”Kalu, the story of a rogue governor.”
The deponent said the article thoroughly demeaned the exalted office of the governor and the plaintiffs, being representatives of the people of Abia State, felt thoroughly embarrassed.
She added that the publication exposed acts of corruption allegedly perpetrated by the defendants individually and collectively.
Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako has adjourned the case till September 19.
They said the offences, if proven, were economic and financial crimes capable of impoverishing the people of the state.
The deponent added taht the lawmakers were confused as to how their governor, who is nursing a presidential ambition, could be involved in the alleged fraudulent acts.
She said the defendants were responsible for the misery, misfortune, agony, poverty, hunger, unemployment and shame that citizens of Abia State were currently going through.
The deponent averred that no other governor of any state in Nigeria had indulged in this wicked pillaging of people‘s commonwealth, gargantuan and selfish looting of N53 billion of tax payers money as the 1st defendant (Kalu) had done hence the need to take a proactive and curative measure.
She said that inspite of all efforts by the plaintiffs to ensure that EFCC investigate the story; the commission had not taken action.
At the hearing of the case on Monday counsel to the plaintiffs, Cornelius Nwapi said
that the defendants have not been served with the court papers.
He therefore asked for an adjournment to enable him serve the governor and other defendants in the case.
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