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EFCC declares Kalu’s mother wanted

Posted by By Dotun Oladipo on 2006/10/11 | Views: 1995 |

EFCC declares Kalu’s mother wanted


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday declared Eunice, the mother of the Abia State Governor, Chief Orji Kalu, wanted.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday declared Eunice, the mother of the Abia State Governor, Chief Orji Kalu, wanted.

Also declared wanted by the EFCC were 18 others who are officials of the Abia State Government, local government helmsmen, personal staff of the governor‘s mother, some security aides and two brothers of the governor.

They were declared wanted for conspiracy, stealing, money laundering, official corruption and diversion of public funds.

But Kalu told our correspondent on Tuesday that all those declared wanted were ready to submit themselves to a fair trial.

He added that the EFCC was only pursuing the bid to resuscitate President Olusegun Obasanjo‘s third term agenda.

The EFCC in a statement on Tuesday by its Head, Media and Publicity, Mr. Osita Nwajah, said that the bid to arrest Eunice and others on Monday, based on a court order, was foiled by some of the security aides of the governor‘s mother who shot at the commission‘s operatives.

Nwajah said, ”Mrs. Kalu is wanted for questioning over allegations of conspiracy, stealing, money laundering, official corruption and diversion of public funds.

”However, as soon as the 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.”

The other 18 suspects are Kalu‘s Chief of Staff, Mr. T.A. Orji; his Personal Assistant, Chuka Odum; the state Commissioner for Finance, Moses Agoh; the Chairman, Aba North Local

Government Area, Mr. Duru; a member of the House of Representatives and brother of the governor, Prince Johnson Uzor; another brother of the governor, Mascot Ikweche Kalu; Personal Assistant to the governor‘s mother, Mrs. Mary Agha; former Accountant-General of the state, Mr. Anyanwoke; and the Director of Slok Group, Mr. Obienyi Anyaogu.

Others were the Permanent Secretary in the Abia State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. O. Iheke; four cashiers of the Government House, Umuahia - Romanus K. Madu, M.A. Udo, Okey Ude and Jone Udeugu; Kalu‘s police attaché, Johnson Okoro; I.D. Okoro; the Secretary of the Abia State Association of Local Government of Nigeria, Chinedum Elechi; and the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

Nwajah said further in the statement that the commission had uncovered a plot to get the governor‘s mother out of the country through Cameroon in order to frustrate her prosecution.

The EFCC statement added, ”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.

”No one is above the law.”

But Kalu said the allegations by the EFCC were merely meant to distract the attention of those opposed to the failed third term bid of Obasanjo, which he said had been resuscitated.

He told our correspondent on the telephone, ”That (the declaration by the EFCC) is their headache.

”It is an embarrassment to the Abia State Government.

”But those who are doing this should know that they cannot live in glass houses and be throwing stones.

”There is massive fraud in the Presidency and nobody is talking about it.

”Why do you declare people wanted when you know where they are?

”This is all about resuscitating the failed third term bid of the President.

”They should know that if they have been doing it in other parts of the country, they cannot come to the South-East to try to destabilise any state government.

”They will find that very tough.

”What I still insist on is that Obasanjo himself must be probed for serious cases bordering on corruption.

”There should be a probe of his Temperance Farm account and other accounts.

”In 1998, before he was elected, those accounts had no money in them.

”Now, they are in billions.

”How did the money get there?

”How did he make all his money?

”There are several companies undertaking multi-million naira projects in his Bells University, yet no one has said anything.

”I have been in business before I became governor and will still be in business even after my tenure.

”So, I can account for all the money I have in my accounts.

”No one can cajole me to support a third term for anybody or do anything unconstitutional by making false allegations against me or those who work with me or my family.

”Let me make it clear that in Abia State, we will fight when it is necessary and will be calm when the need for it arises.”

Also on Tuesday in Abuja, the Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, reiterated his stand that some governors were corrupt.

Ribadu, at a seminar on National Brand and Economic Development conference: ”Mind the Gap,” also said that over N128bn had been returned to those who fell victim to Nigerian fraudsters.

Ribadu said the commission still had 90 cases pending in courts against fraudsters and corrupt public officers.

He alleged that some lawyers, judges and policemen served as accomplices to fraudsters as they collected money from them to stall cases.

Ribadu noted that the EFCC had sent the names of 40 lawyers to the Nigerian Bar Association for possible sanctions.

He told the gathering of branding professionals, lawyers, diplomats and corporate executives at the function that the EFCC did not interfere with legislative proceedings in Plateau State.

Ribadu said the corrupt attitude of some public officials had smeared the image of the country and given Nigerians a negative identity among the comity of nations.

Reeling out figures that elicited some response from the audience, he said a ”particular governor”‘ in EFCC net had accumulated more than N50bn of public funds.

Ribadu said many of the governors were on the EFCC list for corruptly enriching themselves with public funds at the expense of the poor that they were expected to protect.

He said the EFCC had recovered more than N200bn from persons who had floated banks with the objective of swindling their customers.

Ribadu faulted allegations that the EFCC was flouting the law to achieve its aims.

He, however, said there were several instances where the judiciary manipulated the law to favour some corrupt officers and fraudsters.

He stressed that he would rather stand by the majority who are underprivileged.

Ribadu said the Swiss government had invited him to head an initiative concerned with repatriating stolen funds to governments and individuals.

The President of the NBA, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, commended Ribadu for his fight against fraudsters and corrupt public officers.

He advised Ribadu to always observe ”due process” in the commission‘s activities.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.