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Why we’re after Kalu’s mum – EFCC

Posted by By Sun News Publishing on 2006/10/10 | Views: 921 |

Why we’re after Kalu’s mum – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday explained the Monday storming of the Aba home of mother to the Abia State governor, Chief (Mrs) Eunice Kalu, saying it was merely acting on court orders.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday explained the Monday storming of the Aba home of mother to the Abia State governor, Chief (Mrs) Eunice Kalu, saying it was merely acting on court orders.

In a statement by its Head, Media and Publicity, Osita Nwajah, the EFCC said the invasion was part of efforts to effect the arrest of some individuals in Abia State, who had been allegedly linked to corruption.

"Among those the commission has court orders to arrest is Mrs Eunice Kalu, mother of the Executive Governor of Abia State, Mr Orji Uzor Kalu," the EFCC said, adding: "Mrs Kalu is wanted for questioning over allegations of conspiracy, stealing, money laundering, official corruption and diversion of public funds.

"However, as soon as EFCC operatives made their identities and mission known, persons said to be her security guards shot at the EFCC men who in the face of open hostility, had to withdraw from the scene, without exchanging fire with the hoodlums supposedly providing security for the suspect.
"The warrants of arrest have therefore not been effected on Mrs. Kalu and 18 others wanted for questioning on sundry allegations of financial impropriety.

"Intelligence information however indicates that plans are afoot to spirit Mrs. Kalu out of the country over the land border of Cameroon.
"Interpol and other law enforcement agencies around the world have been alerted. EFCC has also sent an alert to all diplomatic missions in Nigeria to treat the suspects as fugitives from justice if they set foot in their respective countries.

"Anyone who aids and abets the escape of suspects who have warrants for their arrest duly issued by a court of law will be in serious contravention of the laws of Nigeria and will be accordingly dealt with under the law.

"The Commission hereby warns the suspects to surrender themselves for questioning, immediately."
Also named as suspects by the EFCC in the alleged probe of corrupt practices in Abia State are Mr. T. A. Orji, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chuka Odum, Personal Assistant to the Governor, Moses Agoh, Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Duru, Chairman Aba North L.G., Hon. Prince Johnson Uzor, brother of the Governor and Member House of Representatives, Mascot Ikweche Kalu, brother of the Governor, Mrs. Mary Agha, Personal Assistant to Governor’s mother, Mr. Anyanwoke, former Accountant General, Abia State, Mr. Obienyi Anyaogu, Director of Slok Group, Mr. O. Iheke, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs, Romanus K. Madu, Cashier, Government House, Umuahia, M.A. Udo, Cashier, Government House, Umuahia, Okey Ude, Cashier, Government House, Umuahia, Jone Udeugu, Cashier, Government House, Umuahia, Johnson Okoro, Police Attache, I.D. Okoro, Barrister Chinedum Elechi, Secretary to ALGON, Abia State and Hon. Commissioner Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

However, Gov Kalu promptly responded to the EFCC claims, saying the onslaught against him by agents of the Federal Government is fallout of personal animosity arising from his principled opposition to efforts by President Olusegun Obasanjo to elongate his stay in office.
"The purported effort to arrest my mother is a ruse, and the extension of the personal war between me and the President," Kalu stated. "It is personal animosity, pure and simple."
The Abia State governor challenged the EFCC to democratise the probe of corrupt practices to all sectors, starting from the Presidency. His words:

"The starting point should be the President in areas like how Temperance Farms, which was near bankrupt in 1999, resurrected to financial affluence.
"Also, EBAD Nigeria Ltd, owned by Obasanjo has billions of Nigerian funds. EFCC should probe the source of the funds.
"What of Transcorp? It has four oil blocs which are not paid for. It bought Hilton hotel for peanuts. What’s EFCC’s position on that transaction? Not a word. What of the scams in NNPC? What of private allocation of oil blocs solely done by the President? Obasanjo is highest shareholder in five Nigerian banks today, yet no one is asking questions. The only way we will take EFCC serious is when the probe is extended to all sectors of our national life, starting from the Presidency."

In similar vein, Mr Iyke Ekeoma, Special Adviser to Gov Kalu on Media and Publicity wondered why the EFCC behaved like "night marauders," storming the home of a woman in the dead of the night to effect an arrest.

"If you have a court order, serve it at the normal time. Courts don’t give orders at midnight," Ekeoma stated.
"They should have properly identified themselves, serve the court order, instead of marauding at night, in which case one would be right to brand them as assassins or armed robbers," the Special Adviser added, noting that courts don’t just order people’s arrest, "you sue first, and the person appears in court. When a court order is violated, then you can arrest. And in this case, no violation had occurred. It is simply an act of lawlessness."

It will be recalled that Gov Kalu had on Monday raised an alarm, saying there was an alleged assassination attempt on his mother by men in police uniform, who stormed Chief (Mrs) Kalu’s Aba home at 12.30 a.m, saying they were from Abuja.

Kalu, in a statement by Onuoha Udeala, his Chief Press Secretary, said the men fired gunshots for over two hours, but were resisted by security men who prevented them from gaining access.

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