The three Senators representing Abia State in the Senate all have ties. Orji Uzor Kalu was governor from 1999 to 2007 while Abaribe Enyinnaya was his deputy. Also, Theodore Orji was the Chief of Staff.
Now, Orji Uzor Kalu is already cooling his heels in prison for embezzlement. However, the startling revelations about Theodore Orji and his son, Chinedum Orji Enyinnaya; who incidentally is the Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly over the alleged embezzlement of over N512billion; is making Uzor Kalu appear like a learner in the game.
Indeed, the alleged sum being bandied sounds ridiculous. How is it possible for anyone to steal such a humongous amount; especially considering that the budget of Abia State in 2011 was just above N100 billion. Furthermore, in 2012, the budget for Abia State was just above N122 billion. Also, in 2013, the self-professed God’s own state had a budget of N137 billion and supplementary budget of N25 billion. For 2014 and 2015, the budget was N115 billion and N102 billion respectively.
Equally important, the 2010 budget was just N60.7 billion.
Therefore, the budget for Abia state from 2010-2015 is just N661 billion in total. So how is it possible for him to have embezzled N512 billion as Governor?
It sounds ridiculous, right? But it is not impossible. Governors/politicians in Nigeria have shown the capacity to be ludicrous and to be overly excessive.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is officially investigating Sen Theodore Orji and his sons for embezzlement of N150 billion; with several bank accounts containing billions already linked to the Speaker of Abia state; where another lackey of Orji, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is the governor.
Alleged mind-blowing graft by Orji & son calls for deep introspection, action
If indeed Orji and his sons truly embezzled such an amount, this is beyond crime against the state. As a matter of fact, it would amount to a crime against humanity. The huge sum alleged to have been stolen could have furnished hospitals, procured fire-fighting equipment and even paid salaries.
But the big question remains. Is Orji and his children going to prison soon? If the trend of people going to prison is the yard stick; the answer will be ‘not so soon’. The case of the other Orji – Uzor Kalu – went on for 12 years. In fact, all the governors in prison now left office in 2007.
So, there is a possibility of this case dragging on for ages. Maybe by then, Theodore would have replaced Ikpeazu as Governor and consequently would be protected by immunity. Or the Orji’s could change political parties and every sin would have been forgiven.
Also, if indeed such amount of money was stolen in the state by Orji and his sons; more people should be arrested. All the members of the Abia State House of Assembly during that period; the auditor general of the state, and major bureaucrats should be questioned for complicity in the grand theft. Also, the banks that facilitated those transactions must not be left out.
Apart from prosecuting offenders, there is a need to strengthen the prevention of graft. How can a governor have access to such mind-blowing amount without any checks and balances?
An even more worrying thought is this: even if the court should recover the said amount from the Orjis; how are we sure the Ikpeazus will not embezzle it?