Theodore Orji, son under radar of EFCC over alleged N521bn heist

Theodore Orji, son under radar of EFCC over alleged N521bn heist

Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, EFCC, on Thursday, March 12; at its Abuja office quizzed a senator and former governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji and his son, Chinedum.

It was garnered that Theodore Orji was being investigated over an allegation that he diverted N521 billion from the state to his personal use.

Chinedum, who is the Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, was also quizzed alongside his father.

The investigation followed a petition dated March 17, 2017, filed by a group, Fight Corruption: Save Nigeria Group.

In the petition, Theodore Orji; who was governor between 2007 and 2011, was accused of withdrawing N500 million monthly as a security vote from the state’s treasury during his eight years in office.

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Orji has been serving as a senator since he left office.

The petition accused him of diverting; “N383 billion revenue from the Federation Account, N55 billion Excess Crude revenue, N2.3 billion Sure-P revenue, N1.8 billion ecological funds, N10.5 billion loan, N12 billion Paris Club refund, N2 billion agricultural loan; and N55 billion ASOPADEC money while in office.”

According to the petition, the N500million the former governor allegedly withdrew monthly was “not part of the security funds expended on the Nigerian Police; the Nigerian Army, DSS, Navy anti-Kidnapping Squad, anti-robbery Squad, purchase of Security equipment; and vehicles for the security agencies.”

The petitioner also accused Chinedum Orji of owning about 100 accounts in different banks.

Meanwhile, the EFCC acting spokesperson, Tony Orilade, in an interview on Monday; confirmed that the commission was investigating the Orji family members accused in the petition.

Orilade said, ”Operatives of the Commission on Thursday, February 5, 2020; invited both Orji and his son in continuation of the investigation.”

He said the two politicians were released on administrative bail; but did not state when they are expected back at the commission.

On why it took the EFFC over three years to begin investigations over the petition, Orilade said the commission only followed its procedure for the exercise; saying investigations do not always begin immediately upon receipt of petitions.

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